NBN Co is reportedly set to sign a $35 million deal with Optus that will hopefully see Optus improve the performance of its satellite broadband services for 48,000 customers of NBN Co's interim satellite service for regional and rural areas.
Sources close to both Optus and NBN Co reportedly told the Australian Financial Review the $35 million deal would see existing customers receive a better broadband service but would not bring extra punters on board.
Some 100,000 aspirants want to join the service, but - with performance already abjectly slow - NBN Co has been refusing to sign up any more until its two new ka-band satellites are launched next year.
They are supposed to bring much more capacity and download speeds of at least 12Mbps to the outback. The interim service supposedly offers 6Mbps - but only to a much lesser number of recipients.
With 48,000 crammed on board, speed has suffered badly: so much so that service provider iiNet last year stopped signing up new customers, claiming the satellite service was "so slow as to be almost unusable".
Details of how the $35 million injection from NBN Co will improve that service are eagerly awaited - but the 100,000 who have been turned away may still miss out.