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Unmetered is the new norm with changes to nbn™ Sky Muster™ Plus

April 8, 2020 12:35 pm

nbn™ have introduced changes to nbn™ Sky Muster™ Plus with the changes taking effect on 1st April 2020. nbn™ Sky Muster™ Plus customers can expect changes to their service, all of which are aimed at providing more flexibility and greater value.

nbn™ have changed their definition of what constitutes ‘unmetered’ data, making it a bit easier to understand and less confusing in what online activities constitute ‘metered’ data.
Your metered data is the data used on activities that counts towards your Peak and Off-Peak monthly data allowance. Peak data usage time 7:00am – 1:00am (local time). Off-Peak data usage time 1:00am – 7:00am (local time).

The table below outlines the key differences between nbn™ Sky Muster™ Plus in its previous form and the new nbn™ Sky Muster™ Plus after changes took effect on 1st April 2020:

Function Current Future from 1st April 2020
Meter positioning Metered By default Unmetered by default. Subject to metadata exclusions and the FUP (Fair Use Policy).
Metered Applications All Internet activity except ‘Internet essentials’ Only:

  • Video Streaming (This may include streaming such as: Netflix, YouTube, TikTok, Stan, Foxtel. (Videos within social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram will be unmetered)
  • Virtual Private Networks
Unmetered Applications Only ‘Internet essential’ being:

  • Web-browsing (static images & text only)
  • Select email platforms (exclusions apply)
  • Select PC and smartphone operation system updates (excludes applications, gaming and non-system software updates) (subject to FUP)
All other internet usage
‘Time of Day Shaping’ Select PC and smartphone operating systems updates may be shaped at nbn’s discretion during 7 – 11 pm The following may be shaped during 4 – 11pm: (at the discretion of nbn™):

  • Peer to Peer traffic,
  • operating system updates,
  • software/application updates,
  • gaming software updates,
  • cloud storage platforms and
  • any other internet activity related to applications with nbn™ cannot identify

The key changes involve making a number of previously ‘metered’ activities ‘unmetered,’ which will be a welcome change particularly for those trying to work from home and those that like watching videos on social media.

Unmetered Activities have always included:

  • Website browsing (static text and images) which includes most activities performed in an internet browser, like online banking, reading news websites, using social media platforms
  • Sending and receiving emails (with a max attachment size of 20mb)

Unmetered activities also now include:

  • All carrier wi-fi calling, regardless of the application
  • Embedded video content on certain social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, LinkedIn. (Embedded video content on all other websites and platforms is still metered.)
  • Video calling including via applications such as Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, Google Duo, Snapchat, Instagram Live, Viber, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Line, Tango, My VMR and GoToMeeting.

The nbn notes that the following activities are unmetered, but may be shaped between 4pm – 11pm from time-to-time at the nbn’s discretion (i.e. slowed to speeds of 256Kbps)

  • Peer to peer traffic;
  • Uploads and downloads to cloud storage platforms;
  • PC and smartphone operating system updates, software/application updates, gaming software updates;
  • Any internet activity related to applications which the nbn™ cannot identify.

Other types of unmetered activities will not usually be shaped at any time, even when the metered data allowance has been exhausted.

This is great if you use a cloud storage platform like Dropbox™, Microsoft OneDrive™ or Google Drive™. However, these can still be shaped, a key reason being their tenancy to use significant amounts of data.

Read our blog here to learn how to ‘pause’ syncing on Cloud apps.

This still means that Netflix™ and other video streaming services like YouTube™, Disney+™ and Amazon Prime Video™ are still counted towards your monthly metered data allocation. However, all Activ8me nbn™ Sky Muster™ Plus plans are eligible for a 3-month Free Trial Offer of PlayOn Cloud through a partnership with PlayOn.TV Australia. Using the PlayOn Cloud app, you can choose any shows from these streaming services and have that show recorded in the cloud.

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