NBN Co, the public-private company overseeing the National Broadband Network (NBN) project, has reportedly stopped taking orders for its Interim Satellite Service (ISS) having reached the subscriber limit. According to iTnews, the company circulated a notice to retail service providers earlier this week confirming that the ISS had reached capacity on 18 December 2013; the service has a 48,000 user limit. In line with this development NBN Co’s website has been updated to reflect the halt on new sign-ups, stating: ‘It is no longer possible to register for, or order a new service … Registrations and orders for NBN satellite services will recommence upon the product launch of the long term satellite service, which is currently scheduled for 2015.’
Meanwhile, the government is said to be considering whether it could extend the ISS, which is based on Optus and IPstar satellites, by purchasing more capacity, though any decision is unlikely until after a ‘detailed review’ of the satellite portion of the NBN expected sometime this year. This strategic review will ‘consider strategic options available to NBN Co to cost effectively provide coverage to areas outside the fixed footprint’, while also ‘considering the optimal model to provide this coverage’.