Satellite Internet Access is probably the most expensive high
speed internet service for home users. However, in rural or remote areas
where cable or DSL internet access is not available, satellite internet may
be their only choice for high speed internet access.
Satellite internet is not delivered by phone line or cable but satellite
dish. Your computer is connected to a satellite modem which is linked to a
satellite dish (antenna) typically mounted on the roof of your home. When
you browse a webpage, your request is sent to the satellite. The satellite
then transmits a signal to the operation center of satellite internet
provider. The webpage information is then beamed back to your computer
through the same path.
Since the signal has to travel 35,000 km out into space to the satellite and
back to earth again to reach the operation center, there may be a signal
delay as much as 500 to 900 milliseconds. The actual delay is doubled as the
signal from the satellite company has to travel the same distance to your
computer. This signal delay may affect the performance of some real time
applications such as online games.
Many satellite internet providers also have a Fair Access Policy (FAP). The
satellite company can limit a customerís throughput if his system usage
exceeds a certain threshold (150-200Mb) for a period of time. Typically, the
restrictions will be lifted within 8-12 hours of the original application of
the FAP if the customerís usage in this period stays below the FAP
FAP ensures all subscribers have fair and equal access to satellite
broadband internet access, so that bandwidth is not taken up
disproportionately by a small percentage of subscribers. For home users who
just surf the internet and have small downloads, FAP is not likely to affect
them. However, for those who have regular bandwidth intensive activities,
FAP will limit their ability to complete large download in a reasonable
amount of time.
Advantages of Satellite Internet Access:
High speed internet access in rural / remote
areas where cable and DSL are not available
Does not tie up with local phone service or
cable TV subscription
Connection speed is not affected by phone or
Disadvantages of Satellite Internet Access:
More expensive than DSL and cable
Large setup fee. Expensive equipment upfront.
Has to be set up by trained technician.
Short delay of signal transmission may affect
real time applications
Fair access policy limits the ability to
download large files in reasonable amount of time
Connection speed is slower than DSL and cable
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