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ANAO report on satellite support scheme released

The  Turnbull Government welcomes the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) audit  report regarding the administration of the NBN Satellite Support (NSS)  Scheme.

The report found that NBN Co Limited was effective in  managing the contract and demand for the NSS scheme by monitoring its promotion  and applicant eligibility.

The Coalition Government introduced the NSS scheme to fix  Labor's interim satellite service.

Labor promised  250,000 Australians they would be eligible for the interim satellite service,  but only purchased enough capacity to service 48,000. Labor also failed to  impose a fair use policy on the retail service providers (RSPs) to ensure all  consumers had an equitable share of the capacity.

The result was  a debacle. Consumers experienced severe congestion at peak times  with speeds similar or worse than dial-up services, as well as frequent  drop-outs. It is yet another example  of Labor over-promising and under-delivering.

To fix Labor's  mess, the Government committed $18.4 million to upgrade bandwidth for each user  by at least 30 per cent, introduced a stringent fair-use policy to ensure all  users could enjoy a quality service - even during peak periods, and established  a subsidy scheme to assist up to 9000 eligible households, farms and small  businesses to have access to broadband via satellite.

The scheme was established in April 2014 and delivered subsidised  satellite services to more than 2,000 customers in rural and remote Australia  before the rollout of the Sky Muster satellite service.
NBN Co launched the first Sky Muster Satellite in October 2015 with  services starting in April 2016.

In June, the Coalition announced that Sky Muster satellite users  would receive around 50 per cent more peak data and twice as much off peak data  at no extra cost to retailers. Under Labor, Sky Muster users were set to receive  just 35 gigabytes of peak data a month in total.

More than 81,000 customers across regional and remote Australia are  now receiving faster, affordable and more reliable broadband services thanks to  the Coalition Government.

Media contact:

Geraldine Mitchell | 0407 280 476 | Geraldine.Mitchell [at] communications.gov.au.