NBN Co has unveiled new plans for its Sky Muster satellite service that will no longer count the use of email, general web browsing and critical software updates towards monthly data allowances.
The plans will also get a download speed boost above the preset 25Mbps wholesale speed where applications and network support allows.
“The launch of our Sky Muster Plus product is another demonstration of our unwavering commitment to regional and rural Australians living in some of the most far-flung regions of our vast outback,” NBN Co chief executive Stephen Rue said.
“We have been listening to feedback from consumers and industry on what we can do to improve customer experience on the NBN Sky Muster network.
“Our team is also continuing to consult with industry on a number of additional wholesale product updates on the Sky Muster satellite service, including a regional enterprise service as well as additional applications to enable remote telehealth and distance education.”
The change was welcomed by the Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition (RRRCC), calling the new plans a "game changer" for internet connectivity in rural Australia.
“This enhancement represents a game-changer for internet connectivity in the bush and is a direct result of the advocacy of the RRRCC," National Farmers' Federation president Fiona Simson said.
"The introduction of Sky Muster Plus demonstrates that the government understands the connectivity needs of regional Australians and is willing to think outside the box to fulfill these needs."
The coalition also noted the significance of the changes for remote schools and students.
"Connectivity offers even the most remote student the opportunity to keep pace with the outside world and experience meaningful educational opportunities,” president of the Isolated Parents and Childrens' Association Wendy Hick said.
“Having both increased capacity and the possibility for data use to be attributed against actual usage, rather than software updates and other menial tasks, has the potential to transform how remote families manage their data."
Last year, NBN Co increased data limits that retail service providers can offer from Sky Muster from 30GB per month to 45GB per month, while maximum usage was doubled from 75GB per month to up to 150GB per month.
Updated 3:10pm to include statements from RRRCC.