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Hughes uses a proprietary piece of equipment to accept the radio signals called BCD (Burst Channel De-modulator). There is another device called a DNCC that converts the radio signal into an Ethernet packet. The BCD is a shared medium device in the fact that several people will share one BCD for their in route. Each BCD has a max of 128 Kbps and with overhead it is about 113. With that in mind even if you were the only person on a BCD you would still not get 128 Kbps.

You may find, however, that your upload speed appears higher than 128Kbs. There are a couple of reasons. First of all, Direcway uses compression techniques to compress the data before it is sent so that there is less data to send and then uncompresses it at the other end. So if you are transmitting highly compressible data you will find that the upload will occur faster. If, on the other hand the data you are sending is already highly compressed, the upload will take longer.

Also when using the java based speed tests like the ones here at BBR and elsewhere, you must be using the Microsoft version of java (msvm) in order to get accurate upload readings. Using Sun Java will give you completely bogus upload speed results. Since this phenomenon does not occur with other types of connections, we can only assume that Sun Java is either not handling the latency of the connection well, or is confused by the compression taking place.

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by PetDude See Profile
last modified: 2004-03-30 21:49:54