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Standard User rhum
(newbie) Sat 04-Jul-15 18:06:36
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Subsidised Satellite Broadband


[link to this post]
 
I'm interested to know what other forum readers feel about this thinkbroadband article

As a resident of Dumfries and Galloway I'm eligible to apply for the offer (download speed = 0.48 Mbps at best). It does seem to be an attractive offer but the more I read the less I think that Satellite Broadband is a long term effective solution.
Clearly, the politicians feel that they must do something. Although I believe there has been a 'Universal Service Directive' since 2003 to ensure that everyone has 'functional internet access' from network providers, this was considered to be dial up speeds of 28.8 Kbps. Obviously this may have been acceptable 12 years ago but this directive should be updated to ensure that the fastest internet speeds are not provided to the most profitable locations for the network providers.

See OFCOM FAQ

Given that Satellite Broadband can be considered to be a short term solution at best, I'd like to know what are the experiences of others who have already been using this technology for a while. Furthermore, as this technology is not sustainable unless more satellites are launched soon has anyone with a technical background got any views on this subject?
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Sat 04-Jul-15 18:36:35
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Re: Subsidised Satellite Broadband


[re: rhum] [link to this post]
 
A short term solution fine but until facebook and loon balloons happen satellite will be a poor choice compared to fixed or wireless

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User nemeth782
(member) Fri 10-Jul-15 21:52:25
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Re: Subsidised Satellite Broadband


[re: rhum] [link to this post]
 
I work in the satellite broadband industry, mostly with mobile units with autodeploy dishes etc.

It's very good at some things, awful at others.

In the absence of congestion (Tooway/Eutelsat consumer services are awfully congested) it's pretty much fine for normal web browsing, it takes a second or so for a page to start loading (round trip time for DNS lookups etc) but then loads plenty fast.

It's fine for things like iPlayer, Youtube, Netflix, although the data allowances are less so.

For things like online gaming, you may as well use dial up because it's awful.

Ka band satellites (Hylas 1 and 2, KA-Sat, etc) have a decent amount of bandwidth per spot beam given the relatively small number of users on sat broadband, but that won't be true anymore if too many users are loaded on there.

I wouldn't really want satellite as my only connection - I'd rather use 4G or just move house - but for my nan, it would be fine. If I had only say, 512k ADSL available, I'd probably have both and use the DSL for gaming, overnight bulk downloads, etc.


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Standard User rhum
(newbie) Sat 11-Jul-15 08:33:28
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Re: Subsidised Satellite Broadband


[re: nemeth782] [link to this post]
 
Many thanks nemeth,

It does seem then that once hundreds of new, subsidised, users take up this offer the Avanti satellite will follow Tooway and Eutelsat and become congested. I'm sure that if I had paid full price for hardware, connection and monthly packages I would be less than pleased.

It transpires that the only satellite being used for this subsidised "pilot scheme" is Hylas 2 - so the decision for me as to whether or not to take it up has been made. That satellite is not visible from where the dish would need to be sited on my property. I'm sure I won't be the only one with this problem, so until this "pilot scheme" is expanded to make use of other satellites, myself and others will need to make do with a 512k connection.
Standard User JerryFn
(newbie) Mon 13-Jul-15 16:32:37
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Re: Subsidised Satellite Broadband


[re: nemeth782] [link to this post]
 
This has been offered to me living at the top of the Malvern Hills on the Ledbury Exchange. I need to do some research as my initial impressions are that this the cheap option to 'shut me up'.
My neighbour gets 6.5mb (he's 50mtrs away but connected to a different exchange). I have asked to be connected to the 'better' exchange but Fastershire say NO.
There is a set of fibre optic cables running past my door. This has been tapped (200mtrs away) to service a set of farm offices.
Satellite may be an decent option but it does seem expensive, both the kit and the data. The best deal for me would seem to be Avonline. Does anyone know what system Fastershire are using? There does seem to be a significant difference in performance and cost.

I can see that for Fastershire this will be a cheap and cost-effective option, but it does seem an exotic fix when they could just connect two wires to the next pole on my right!
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 13-Jul-15 18:32:28
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Re: Subsidised Satellite Broadband


[re: JerryFn] [link to this post]
 
Depends on the project teams and how well they work with BT, seeing lots network rearrangement in Northern Ireland and Scotland so it is possible, just whether your area is going the extra mile or doing the bare minimum.

If the other business is in line of sight, then consider a deal with them to have a broadband connection of your own there and wireless from there to yours.

Don't discount mobile either i.e. time to check all the network options e.g. even if 4G only available in one upstairs room a 4G router there providing Ethernet and/or WiFi would be preferrable to satellite

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User nemeth782
(member) Tue 14-Jul-15 12:57:12
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Re: Subsidised Satellite Broadband


[re: rhum] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by rhum:
Many thanks nemeth,

It does seem then that once hundreds of new, subsidised, users take up this offer the Avanti satellite will follow Tooway and Eutelsat and become congested. I'm sure that if I had paid full price for hardware, connection and monthly packages I would be less than pleased.

It transpires that the only satellite being used for this subsidised "pilot scheme" is Hylas 2 - so the decision for me as to whether or not to take it up has been made. That satellite is not visible from where the dish would need to be sited on my property. I'm sure I won't be the only one with this problem, so until this "pilot scheme" is expanded to make use of other satellites, myself and others will need to make do with a 512k connection.


The advantage with H2 is that it's relatively under-subscribed in the UK. We use Hylas 1 for commercial services, and rent capacity by mbit for our userbase, and Avanti won't sell us Hylas 2 capacity. They have pretty much kept all of it for big contracts and big resellers, Avonline use H2 most places and usually only use H1 where they can't get LoS on H2.

Tooway/Eutelsat made the mistake of selling "unlimited" services, and this, I believe, is what killed their capacity as many people jumped on it. It also offered 20mbit/6mbit in a time when many were using 16mbit ADSL2+, so though satellite could actually be better.

Avanti sell two main services on H1 to resellers (you can't buy a connection from Avanti as an end user usually), "SVNO" (shared virtual network operator) whereby the reseller pays a list price per connection and resells it at a profit, with a set usage allowance, and avanti run traffic management etc. It's basically a white label service.

They then do "GVNO" (guaranteed virtual network operator) whereby the reseller buys bandwidth in mbits (usually around £1200 pcm per mbit) on each beam, then resells that to as many users as they choose, sets their own traffic management if any, etc.

Given that each GVNO is partitioned off from each other, even if one operator reaches saturation it wouldn't affect others even on the same beam. Avanti not allocating enough bandwidth to their SVNO platform could be an issue I guess, but I'm not sure there is an SVNO facility on Hylas 2.

They also do other services aimed more at commerical, blue light, etc clients, such as more high end hardware rather than the Hughes stuff (iDirect for example, where in theory you could get ~40mbit down from an X7 modem).
Standard User gah789
(regular) Tue 14-Jul-15 13:15:23
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Re: Subsidised Satellite Broadband


[re: JerryFn] [link to this post]
 
If the nearby farm has a leased line, as you suggest, then they may welcome an offer that would help them share the fixed cost of the connection if their service contract does not rule this out. Setting up a wireless link over a few hundred metres to the farm should not cost more than £200-250, provided that you can see one of its buildings.

Or pay for your neighbour to install a second telephone line connected to the other exchange and then run an ethernet cable to connect it to your house - this will work fine up to 100 metres.

Any of these would be better than a satellite connection.
Standard User gah789
(regular) Tue 14-Jul-15 13:30:34
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Re: Subsidised Satellite Broadband


[re: nemeth782] [link to this post]
 
Providing a subsidised consumer service - as in Dumfries & Galloway - cannot make sense for Avanti unless they have a lot of temporarily under-utilised bandwidth. For wireless systems in rural areas we assume an average 95th percentile usage of 0.25 Mbps initially and that tends to rise to 0.5 Mbps over time as people start to make more use of IPTV. The bandwidth cost alone would be £300 pcm unless Avanti massively oversell capacity during peak periods.

Sooner or later it will end in disappointed expectations - either because Avanti can't generate the revenue that they expect or because customers find that the service is barely usable in peak periods. Unfortunately this is par for the course - Avanti have a history of messing up similar contracts in Scotland over the last decade.

In the past I used Avonline - the service was so poor that even a 0.5/0.25 Mbps Exchange Activate ADSL service was better, quite apart from any cost considerations. There are quite a lot of disenchanted former satellite subscribers around in rural Scotland.
Standard User rhum
(newbie) Wed 15-Jul-15 06:26:21
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Re: Subsidised Satellite Broadband


[re: nemeth782] [link to this post]
 
many thanks again nemeth782, it certainly appears that this 'solution' is not going to be the crock of gold that the 5 councils in Scotland and N. Ireland would have us believe. It seems that public money is being wasted on schemes that, if subscribed to, will degrade the service to such an extent that it becomes pretty useless.

Meanwhile I will continue to get junk mail from BT urging me to take on their latest 'infinity' and 'unlimited' broadband etc. It really is amazing that they can market (and charge for) internet speeds that cannot be achieved. Their current entry level package is for speeds of "Up to 17Mb" - given that many are paying line rental and broadband charges for 0.48 Mb (at best!), this seems to be tantamount to theft. What other product can be offered to the public in such a way?
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