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.