Satellite Broadband Complains of No Respect in Europe, Too
As Rodney Dangerfield of Connectivity Pushes for Subsidies
While AT&T and Verizon busily lobbying the FCC
to "reform" the Universal Service Fund by giving them a larger slice of it for broadband deployment -- satellite operators continue to complain they're being left out of the money buffet. HugheNet, ViaSat, WildBlue and Dish recently banded together to tell the FCC
they're ready to help fill in many of the nation's broadband gaps, and that they're tired of being left out of the conversation. Except with high prices, slow speeds and very restrictive daily usage caps -- satellite is seen as the Rodney Dangerfield of broadband
, and is left out of policy discussions for some very good reasons. In Europe, satellite companies are making the same complaints, insisting 10 Mbps (with lag) is good enough
Avanti’s HYLAS1 satellite went live on 4 April, beating Eutelsat’s KA-SAT to the punch by almost two months. Both HYLAS1 and KA-SAT are Ka-band satellites, meaning they can provide two-way broadband services of up to 10Mbps. . .Avanti’s chief operating officer Matthew O’Conner pointed out that 10Mbps is perfectly adequate for most day-to-day Internet applications, and only online ‘shoot-em-up’ games, such as Call of Duty, are really affected by latency. He said the emphasis that politicians put on headline speeds only exacerbates the digital divide, as operators are forced to focus on speed rather than coverage.
Satellite operators here in the States continue to insist their next-generation of satellites will provide improved speeds
, but part of the problem is that there's limited competition for these captive customers with no other options, meaning that even after these new birds users will continue to face the high prices and low caps than make satellite so laughable when compared to landline options. While satellite does have an obvious role to play in rural coverage, high cost, low caps, high prices and high latency mean it's never going to be a serious player, and any subsidies received should reflect that reality.
Re: Satellite's forte is coverage & not speed
said by FFH:You are technically correct. Practically, though, it is ulikely to ever happen. Google Teledesic and read about the history of the one serious attempt, with deep-pocket backers. It should have gone live in 2002, but was abandoned when they discovered the financial cost exceeded their wallets (included Gates, McCaw, etc.)
even satellite can improve on latency and speed if LEO & MEO sats supplement GEO sats.
Satellites are very expensive, and it takes hundreds to provide good LEO coverage. MEO takes dozens at the minimum.
Motosat self-pointing dishes: 1.2-meter XF-3 on 105W or 121W, .74 meter G74 on 127W, SL-5 HD DirecTV|idirect 3100|Hughes HN7000S|Verizon UMW190 Air Card|1990 Blue Bird Wanderlodge Bus "Blue Thunder"|Author of hnFAP-Alert, PC-OPI and DSSatTool
Re: Wildblue Yep. I was an early Wildblue subscriber, and initially the service was pretty good. The latency was near the theoretical minimum for geosynchronous satellite, which as the European exec said, is probably good enough for alot of uses. I could even run decent VPN sessions into work. I used to recommend WB to other rural friends.
(BTW Karl, WB doesn't have daily caps, it's a rolling 30-day cap. Still sucks, but it's not a daily cap).
But they didn't leave well enogh alone. One day (it was Nov. 17, remember it well). They changed their scheduling algorithms, and the latency became as bad as Hughsnet. VPN between slower than even VPN on dial-up, and yes alot of https: sites stopped working. The service is awful. The point being, for the latency satellite users complain about, it's less due to geosynchronous lag; the biggest factor is how the satellite companies have designed their system that they use for residential service.
I don't think the current crop of residential satellite offerings should be considered "broadband" and certainly shouldn't be eligible for USF funds.