Cotton Australia has called for vast improvements to be made to the National Broadband Network (nbn), in particular nbn’s SkyMuster satellite service, offered to rural and regional users. Technology is no longer a luxury, but an everyday necessity for Australian cotton businesses to compete in the global marketplace. There is still some way to go before the NBN is able to meet the needs of our industry, now and into the future, as we look to new and emerging on-farm technologies.
Cotton Australia detailed a number of recommendations to the Australian Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on the nbn’s inquiry into the rollout of the service.
As many growers will be aware, the key issues facing cotton farms are:
- The data limits of Sky Muster plans under the Fair Use Policy do not reflect the needs of growers running high-tech agricultural businesses.
- The highly variable reliability and performance of NBN services, particularly Sky Muster, restricts the ability of users to rely on the service for business needs.
In its submission to the Joint Standing Committee, Cotton Australia recommends:
- SkyMuster plans should be increased to reflect the residential, educational and business needs of regional, rural and remote Australians.
- Continual improvements are still required to improve the reliability of Sky Muster services.
- Broadband standards should be established to protect services and customer service guarantees and safeguards should be updated.