The World Of Satellite Broadband - Is It The Solution For You?

The World Of Satellite Broadband - Is It The Solution For You?

Satellite broadband could shortly be supplying internet access with speeds as much as 10Mb, all over the UK;even if you reside in an isolated area where you are unable to get a fixed-line or mobile broadband connection.

Satellite broadband deals
Isolated and rural areas have been suffering broadband woes for a very long time – that’s where satellite broadband comes in. Satellite broadband is a choice available for those users who live in rural or remote areas where traditional fixed-line based broadband services aren't available.

At the moment satellite broadband technology accounts for only 2 per cent of all internet connections. However there are reports predicting growth in this sector, both in consumer uptake and product versatility. The worldwide subscribers are also expected to rise by a large proportion as prices plummet due to decreasing technology cost.

Satellite broadband does not need a setup of cables or wires to connect your residence to the internet, which is a major advantage over standard connections requiring a wire based setup linked into telephone exchanges. Satellite broadband is the epitome of wireless-ness.

There are three major satellite broadband providers in the UK, namely Tariam, Eutelsat and Astra.

Should I get satellite broadband?
Satellite broadband uses a satellite dish to provide access to broadband services. However speeds are normally lower than standard connections. The major advantage of satellite broadband is that it can be provided virtually anywhere on the globe. It is as an option to fill in broadband connection in areas that are hard to reach, or are unlikely to receive a wired or mobile connection; but for many, it doesn't provide a service as good as fixed broadband products.

The satellite broadband download speeds up to 2010 were only up to 3.6Mb. However, Eutelsat finished its developments in satellite Internet in 2010, which allowed the download speed to increase threefold.
The download limits are also relatively small compared to a fixed-line connection.

The cheapest package provides download allowanced of only around 2GB per month. This highlights how satellite broadband is unsuitable for heavy usage, such as downloading large amounts of data and files etc. The expensive packages provide around 10-30GB per month of download allowance, which typically costs more than £100.

Satellite broadband is also much less reliable than standard connections. The broadband signal has to travel a long, long way (up to the satellite) so there is high latency, and can be data loss, or even transmission failure. This makes it an unsuitable choice for online gaming, online TV services, video conferencing and other real time applications that require a high speed reliable internet connection.

Independent Broadband
Despite the few drawbacks, the biggest advantage of satellite broadband is that it does not need to be connected to the UK's fixed-line network. Dependence on the BT copper network is a big problem for people who live in isolated parts of the UK. Satellite broadband transmits the broadband signal via satellite so you can receive the signals wherever you reside. Satellite broadband means you can be totally independent of standard broadband networks.

What else do I need to know about satellite broadband?
In order to use satellite broadband, you will need to install a satellite dish (which is not a small one) along with a transmitter to be able to send data. The primary installation cost is a expensive, regardless of the provider you select. It can be around £300 if you install it manually yourself and it can go as high as £700 if you want a professional to come and install it. The majority of suppliers charge a connection fee of around £30. You will also require a satellite modem and a broadband router. Most providers give these for free along with the installation, but sometimes you have to pay for them separately.

In addition to the expensive set-up costs, the monthly satellite broadband fee is also higher than standard fixed-line connections, or mobile broadband connections. The monthly package costs can range from £20 to £35 for a very basic package.

Another small concern for people using satellite broadband is that extreme weather conditions can affect the connection. Heavy snow, rain or high winds are part and parcel of remote regions normally and these can all impede the signal. Satellite broadband requires a clear undisturbed line of sight between the satellite and the dish, and if anything gets in the way of this, like moisture in rain, then it may cause problems in the link.

Normal rain showers shouldn’t affect connection but a large storm could render you broadband-less.
Eutesat now transmits its broadband signals at a very high frequency so it is doubtful that there will be too much disturbance with this provider. If the weather is extreme you should not expect decent connectivity though.

The decision on satellite broadband
The installation and set-up costs of Satellite broadband are much higher than for standard conventional fixed-line broadband. Satellite broadband is also well below cable based connections in terms data transfer speed. Despite these facts, Satellite broadband offers a solution where no other may exist.It provides connectivity to those users who are unable to get a connection on a copper or a fibre line. It is not a cheap option but if you need internet connectivity, and can’t get online by any other means, then you should probably look at Satellite broadband.

Find out when your area is getting mobile and fixed broadband
If you are considering satellite broadband then you should first find out when super fast broadband is going to be rolled out to your area. There are plans afoot to bring fibre to much of the UK, and 4G mobile broadband is on its way to much of the UK too. Both of these options are probably preferable to satellite broadband. If you have a service arriving in a few months you will feel silly if you have just forked out £700 to install satellite broadband and won’t need it anymore.

Satellite broadband technology is expected to keep on improving and providing better speeds and reliability in the future. Great news for the marine industry and for those people on land that have no prospects for the arrival of fixed line broadband.

Phil Turner considered satellite broadband after he moved to a really remote part of the country. Before he made any final decision he checked out deals and the availability of other broadband connections by using online price comparisod n sites like uSwitch.


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