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Note: This section is out of date and no longer maintained.
It is retained for the value of any residual information contained in it.

satellite

With some digital TV standards over satellite, it is possible to get Internet access. DirecTV is one well known satellite internet product. The key limitation of commercial TV/internet satellites is the upstream capability... The TV satellite technology now in use is not suited to receiving weak signals that any small home unit could produce, so instead, the satellite listens to its base stations for instructions on what to send, and all users get that, and decide whether it is meant for them, or just discarded. The link from you to the internet, for example a request to get www.netscape.com, must travel over more mundane technology: a phone line, and a plain old fashioned modem. One other disadvantage of satellite is the high latency inherent in such a link. This is a function of the sheer distance between you and the geo-syncronous satellite. Users of DirecTV report data arrives in bursts, of, say, 10-20 seconds, then there is a pause. This makes it technically faster than ISDN and low-end DSL, but practically speaking, slower. Of course if your area is devoid of alternatives, DirecTV will be the only choice!


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