NBN Co has changed its data usage allowance rules for its Sky Muster Plus satellite plans, specifically with the usage of virtual private networks (VPNs) and video streaming in a bid to free up more data for customers.

The network provider has allowed customers to access VPNs and video streaming without counting towards their monthly allowance between midnight to 4pm.

NBN Co said this change comes as customers continue to call for more data for their plans, and would also come at no extra wholesale costs.

“Access to fast and reliable broadband plays a vital role in the lives of people across Australia and broadband demand has continued to grow,” NBN Co chief development officer for regional and remote Gavin Williams said.

“The introduction of more daytime use of VPN and video streaming data on the nbn Sky Muster Plus satellite service is a game changer. It will mean people have more flexibility to work from home, access sites such as YouTube that support remote learning or enjoy their favourite TV shows.”

Williams added the NBN was always working to meet customer needs and that the changes followed “extensive consultation” with customers, communities and stakeholders, all of whom said they wanted more data. 

“We will continue to listen to customers and stakeholders and evolve our service as their needs change,” he said.

In the announcement, the co-founder of telco consumer group Better Internet for Regional Rural and Remote Australia (BIRRR) Kristy Sparrow welcomed the changes and the flexibility of having more data available to customers.

“It has never been more important for Australians, no matter where they live or work, to be connected,” Sparrow said. “The changes will allow NBN Sky Muster Plus users to have more flexibility to use their satellite connection during the daytime, with fewer data constraints.”

“This will help transform regional users’ ability to access connectivity that meets their needs and keeps up with current data demands.

“BIRRR has advocated very strongly for nbn Sky Muster Plus satellite plans to be enhanced and we are pleased that this advocacy has resulted in better plans for small business, health and education in the bush.”