Medical conferencing still counts toward data limit on Sky Muster

NOT LIFE THREATENING: Royal Flying Doctor Service General Manager of Heath Service Jenny Beach said people's lives are not in danger at all with medical calls being metred. PHOTO: CRAIG THOMSON.
NOT LIFE THREATENING: Royal Flying Doctor Service General Manager of Heath Service Jenny Beach said people's lives are not in danger at all with medical calls being metred. PHOTO: CRAIG THOMSON.

Appointments with doctors via video link will count towards your data limit under the new Sky Muster Plus product.

NBN Co announced on Monday that some online browsing activities like completing schoolwork, banking, accessing health or government services, keeping your smartphone and PC operating system software up to date would not contribute to a household's monthly data allowance with the Sky Muster Plus product.

But video calls for medical diagnosis will still be metered and count toward your data cap on the new Sky Muster Plus product.

Royal Flying Doctor Service General Manager of Heath Service Jenny Beach said there is some work to do to convince the NBN Co and the federal government that medical conferencing should be unmetered with the Sky Muster product.


We have had plenty of data space to do our work.

Jenny Beach


"What we do know is that with what we have been using to date we have had plenty of data space to do our work," she said.

"We must stress that people's lives are not in danger at all with medical calls being metred; that is not our experience at all.

"It has been a big step forward that we have embarked on this in the last 12 months or so it does make an incredible difference in some remote regional communities."

Ms Beach said any service that can help people get connected if they need medical help is crucial to those living in regional and rural areas.

"It is important to note is that we are not only providing health care in those communities we are providing 24/7 health care to people on stations and in remote locations and to people that are travelling," she said.

"We are happy with the Sky Muster service, it has been a big step forward, and we recognise how we need to be connected, particularly with health care, and we are looking forward to using the new product."

Hermidale farmer Bryan Perry said unmetered or not, accessing any video or video conferencing via Sky Muster is difficult.

"If I was given two options, either go to hell for eternity or wait the usual 15 minutes for satellite NBN to load a simple search engine page then I'd choose hell," he said.

"If feeding starving stock on the farm isn't bad enough every day of the year, imagine having to wait five minutes every time you want to load a 20 second Facebook video from satellite NBN."

NBN Co CEO Stephen Rue said although medical conferencing was metered now NBN Co would look at ways to provide better medical and educations services in the future with Sky Muster.

"We are working with the community and stakeholders and with our various providers to seek to develop new products," he said.

"These products would enable us to bring more telehealth services and would allow schools to access video.

"It is metered at the moment because of the way the product has currently developed, but we will continue to look at ways we can further develop the product to best suit our users."

An NBN Co spokesperson said if people are experiencing difficulty with Sky Muster they should speak to their retail provider.

"We work hard alongside retail providers to deliver a good experience to customers on our Sky Muser service and are disappointed to hear Mr Perry's service is not performing to his expectations," the spokesperson said.

"We encourage anyone having issues with their service to speak to their retail provider so they can investigate the issue, and where required, work with NBN Co to fix it."

This story Sky Muster Plus' medical malaise first appeared on Daily Liberal.