The National Broadband Network launched its long-term satellite service for regional, rural and remote Australians on Friday, but some customers may still have to wait a few years get connected.
The Sky Muster satellite launched 36,000km into space at the end of October 2015 and will now begin rolling out to some 400,000 eligible customers.
A team of more than 600 technicians will be installing dishes at premises across Australia that are unable to connect to the fibre, fixed wireless or hybrid-fibre coaxial parts of the multi-technology NBN.
The 37,000 customers currently connected to the interim service are expected to be migrated to the long-term service within a year.Sky Muster replaces the NBN's interim satellite service, which has been oversubscribed and congested, resulting in poor internet connections for thousands of Australians.
The rollout schedule aims to connect 85,000 premises by the end of June next year, and a further 50,000 by June 2018.
"It will take some time to get all eligible premises connected due to the sheer size of our 7.69 million km² country, so we ask for patience as our teams travel around to install the service," said NBN chief customer officer John Simon.
Two-hundred early bird customers have already been trialling the network across Australia.
The initial trials showed average download speeds of up to 25Mbps, and 5Mbps upload speeds, on the new service, NBN said.
A report from telecommunications research firm Ovum found the Sky Muster service was "equal to the world's best [satellite services] in terms of download speed and peak monthly data allowance".
"On an affordability basis, Australian retail plans based on NBN's Sky Muster service are available at close to the best global pricing on a price per GB basis across the benchmarked operators," it said.
Eligible customers can register with their local retail service provider to connect to the network — not with NBN, which is a wholesaler. Prices and plans will vary depending on providers.
The satellite has a life span of 16 years. It will be joined by a second satellite later this year to jointly deliver broadband services across Australia.