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Standard User joelm335
(newbie) Fri 02-Dec-11 15:32:54
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Satellite BB speeds and limits in Scotland


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I live in a rural part of Scotland. Under the Scottish Government's "Broadband Reach" scheme we were provided with a Satellite connection through Avanti. This was upgraded in May to connect with Hylas 1. On the old satellite we were paying £35 per month for a 1.0/0.25 Mb connection with 10Gb monthly data. After nagging Avanti for 6 months they have finally been able to offer me new rates. For the same £35 they are offering 2.0/0.5 but with the monthly data allowance reduced to 6 Gb.

I realize that data limits on satellite are restricted compared to fixed line connections but a quick Google search suggests that other Satellite ISPs are offering much quicker connections for lower monthly fees. I don't really want to fork out for a new connection. Are there any other ISPs that use Hylas or is it exclusive to Avanti. Anyone got any comments about Avanti's rates for what is still a pretty slow connection?

Joel
Standard User epyon
(committed) Fri 02-Dec-11 16:26:25
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Re: Satellite BB speeds and limits in Scotland


[re: joelm335] [link to this post]
 
I think Tooway do 10mbps thats the only one i've really heard of.

Have you tried http://www.scotnet.co.uk/bet/

it can provide landline internet from over 7 miles away.

BE*Unlimited 19157/1399Kbps
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Fri 02-Dec-11 16:46:34
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Re: Satellite BB speeds and limits in Scotland


[re: joelm335] [link to this post]
 
http://www.avantiplc.com/products/consumers

Lists when you click the UK bit, the resellers on Hylas 1 which is a Ka Band satellite, and should allow 10Meg down, 4 Meg up if willing to pay enough.

You need to talk to a supplier, and try the Tooway based service, which uses a different satellite, it is Ka Band also, so the same hardware may be ok, just it will need repointing by an installer. You can't do it, as there are rules on satellite ground stations and their transmissions.

Though the impression I've got from someone on a Tooway 10/4 £99 service is that contention is already an issue on even these new satellites.

Andrew Ferguson, andrew@thinkbroadband.com
www.thinkbroadband.com - formerly known as ADSLguide.org.uk
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.


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Standard User joelm335
(newbie) Fri 02-Dec-11 16:52:34
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Re: Satellite BB speeds and limits in Scotland


[re: epyon] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the suggestions. I checked Twoway: they do provide a faster service (but around the same data limits) for half the price fee as Avanti, but I think they use a different satellte so I would have to pay > £300 for a new satellite installation.

I followed your link to BET. It seems to be in the experimental stage and available only at a few exchanges.

I suppose one of my complaints is that if Twoway can provide 6 Mb/sec for £19.99 per month, why are Avanti charging £25 for 2 Mb/sec?. I supposethat having got the nod from the Scottish Goverment to supply the whole of rural Scotland under the reach project, Avanti feel like they can charge what they like.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Fri 02-Dec-11 17:04:08
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Re: Satellite BB speeds and limits in Scotland


[re: joelm335] [link to this post]
 
Maybe with Tooway the peak to offpeak speed differences are larger.

What you need to do is find someone with one of the other services to see if it is better, before jumping. The install fee may not be the full £300 if they can re-use the dish, i.e. just need to realign the dish, and fill in the Ofcom paperwork.

The numbers using BET mean it is more experimental, and as it is pushing the limits of what is possible, then will always be a bit hit or miss. it is worth exploring.

If I was in your situation and unable to move, then I'd consider

1. Check nearest 3G mast, and whether a good external aerial will help
2. Order ADSL and even if it runs at 256Kbps, use it, as usage allowance is a lot cheaper than satellite
3. Can I get a wireless signal e.g. WiFi to another property and install a faster ADSL line there and relay it to my house.
4. Final last resort the satellite

Andrew Ferguson, andrew@thinkbroadband.com
www.thinkbroadband.com - formerly known as ADSLguide.org.uk
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User joelm335
(newbie) Fri 02-Dec-11 17:15:07
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Re: Satellite BB speeds and limits in Scotland


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Andrew:

Just missed your post when I posted above. It might be worth me checking out whether I can get the dish repointed. I would be happy with a 6 Mb service for not much more than half the price of Avanti's 2 Mb if I can use Twoway's satellite and my existing dish and modem.

I haven't been particularly impressed with Avant's attitude. Although standard Cable wireless routers work perfectly well they tell users that "they don't support the use of wireless routers" so a lot of my neighbours are still physically plugging into the modem. Same with Skype.

When the Scottish Government Reach Project carried out the technical assessment in 2008, they suggested bringing a fibre optic cable around 6 miles along the existing BT line and installing a mini-exchange to serve around 20 houses in the area. Unfortunately in the end they went for the one-size-fits all strategy of satellite for everyone.
Standard User joelm335
(newbie) Fri 02-Dec-11 17:25:17
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Re: Satellite BB speeds and limits in Scotland


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
MrSaffron:

Thanks for your message.

Tried ADSL, we are around 6 miles from the exchange, on a wire running through the trees. No chance of even a low-speed ADSL signal (tried that, wouldn't work)

Everyone in the area uses Avanti because that's what the Scottish Government paid for.

There's NO 3G mobile signal and the 2G service is pretty poor (you have to hang out of a window to use a mobile phone. (There's no terrestrial TV signal either but that's another story)

Can't wifi to a neighbour because everyone is in the same situation.

What do you mean by peak to off peak? If I can get a better service for a lower price from a different provider it would be worth paying the cost of re-aligning the dish but not for a full installation.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Fri 02-Dec-11 17:55:20
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Re: Satellite BB speeds and limits in Scotland


[re: joelm335] [link to this post]
 
Peak to off peak.

At peak times the internet will be at its slowest, i.e. the capacity available on the satellite will be such that not everyone gets a dedicated 2 Meg connection, but they may sell capacity such if everyone actually tried to download a file at the same time everyone would only see a fraction of the 2 Meg.

You thus need to get provider to tell you the contention ratio. It is possible that the 2Meg more expensive service may actually perform better at the busy times, than a cheaper 6Meg service, and as its not easy to flip between the two it may be expensive to find out.

The KA satellites are meant to be better contention wise, but a lot depends on what the reseller is actually buying from the actual satellite company.

Andrew Ferguson, andrew@thinkbroadband.com
www.thinkbroadband.com - formerly known as ADSLguide.org.uk
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Sat 03-Dec-11 20:12:08
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Re: Satellite BB speeds and limits in Scotland


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
The Tooway satellite services comes from a much more powerfull satellite, at present Id expect the contention not to be too bad, but this will probably change as both systems sign more users.

Tooway are offering free hardware on some packages
http://www.bentley-walker.com/tooway/tooway_home.php
10mg download with 26gb monthly quota is about the best you will find. £49.99 a month.

Their is another option from Astra2connect, also a better price.
www.satelliteinternet.co.uk

Dont take this as a plug. Satellite should only be considered after all other options have been exhausted.

Good luck in anycase.


In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
Though the impression I've got from someone on a Tooway 10/4 £99 service is that contention is already an issue on even these new satellites.
Standard User HySpeedBroadband
(newbie) Mon 05-Dec-11 09:24:49
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Re: Satellite BB speeds and limits in Scotland


[re: joelm335] [link to this post]
 
Hi Joel.

satellite internet can be very confusing, when i first learned about it I saw tooway doing a cheap price and my thinking was, why is everyone not with them?

The things tooway don't show are the contention ratios and the contract length + their hardware costs are still quite high. typically the ratios will be 1:300...whereas other satellite providers who may be a little more expensive are only 1:25 this will give a much better speed during peak periods.

You also have to look into usage costs. for extra Gb's if you go over the usage level you could see a large increase in your monthly bill.

Take a look at upload speeds. these cost more than download. so a cheap rate which shows a fast connection can seem a good deal with but with a low upload speed as well as a high contention ratio your speeds are not going to be to great.

I think the problem with a lot of satellite companies are they are know you have no other way of having a connection so they try and get the most out of you, when really they should be trying to solve a problem and keeping the customers who they have happy. That's my theory anyway.

Have a look around at other companies their are a lot out there. Avanti's KA-band is more reliable and if you already have the equipment your saving yourself a lot of money.

Goof Luck!

HySpeed Broadband can deliver a satellite broadband service to anywhere in the UK regardless of area.

Twitter: HySpeedBB
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