Remote Indigenous communities connect to nbn™ Sky Muster™ through APN Public WiFi
Remote Indigenous communities are being connected to the internet, after a contract to enhance WiFi capabilities was awarded to Australia's largest satellite internet provider Australian Private Networks (APN).
The Communications Challenge
As part of the Remote Australia Strategies Programme, the Australian Government was seeking to improve communications in Indigenous communities of up to 50 people.
The Australian Government was faced with the cost of deploying communications infrastructure to small, remote Indigenous populations, with harsh environmental conditions and vast distances between communities.
APN provided a solution for the Australian Government to connect communities to nbn ™ Sky Muster ™ and public WiFi.
The APN Solution
APN installed faster reliable public WiFi access into the communities via the nbn™ Sky Muster service and extended WiFi coverage.
Because APN workers didn't have to enter community members' housing or community buildings to install the infrastructure, the process was more efficient and considerate – there were no lengthy approvals required to enter dwellings and residents' privacy was protected.
The stand-alone solution uses solar powered, high capacity storage batteries, which avoids the reliability challenges that can come with relying on mains power in a remote location.
Residents can simply access the internet services through a Pay As You Go system, whereby they purchase a PIN to access data in prescribed blocks.
Small Indigenous communities across the Australian mainland and its islands are now able to feel closer to the broader Australian community and gain access to online services that require fast, reliable internet connections.
A total of 3,475GB of data was consumed during June 2017. Data consumption continues to grow by approximately 23% each month.
"The WiFi connections are being used to connect with Government agencies, email and even watching AFL and NBA basketball." - Scott Cogley, APN Corporate Manager.
In 2017, a further 14 communities will gain access to nbn™ Sky Muster™ and public WiFi for the first time, with new solar and battery-powered hardware alongside their existing community telephones.