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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


[link to this post]
 
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, [email protected]
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, [email protected]
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, [email protected]
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
Standard User joelm335
(newbie) Mon 05-Dec-11 15:53:31
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Re: Satellite BB speeds and limits in Scotland


[re: HySpeedBroadband] [link to this post]
 
>>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.

I checked this with Avanti. Apparently once you start to get near your usage limit they simply slow/shut down your connection so you can't exceed it.

My biggest concern with Avanti is I don't understand how why the new Satellite they are proposing to REDUCE my data limits from 10Gb to 6Gb. You'd think with more advanced technology they would be increased. That's not a huge problem at the moment since we have been using a lot less than that, but with the faster speeds we might want to download more.

I'm surprised that Avanti's monthly bill doesn't give any details of data dowloaded - I had to email them and all they could do was to send me a table with our usage for the 6 months to March 2011 (i.e. with the old satellite!). With two laptops and two iphones, I am not sure what the best way is to keep tabs on our usage.

Joel
Standard User HySpeedBroadband
(newbie) Mon 05-Dec-11 16:30:39
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Re: Satellite BB speeds and limits in Scotland


[re: joelm335] [link to this post]
 
When i mentioned the Gb usage it was mainly to the KU-band operators without naming names. some charge up to £15 a Gb over the limit. on a data plan of only 4 Gb's with children it is very hard to monitor.

Having worked with Avanti and still working with them prices have been changed recently in order to compete with the likes of Tooway etc. The new satellite is costly to run and Avanti have only just gone into owning a satellite so they are probably still trying to work out the fine details. But what i have learned it Avanti and it's partners use a lower contention ratio and the upload speeds are quicker and more consistent due to this.

As for monitoring your own usage we have our own way to monitor how much you use, and we are currently giving customers use of software which monitors usage.

doing a quick Google uncovers lots of software that does it. Have a quick research into free software which is well used. or post Something in the Think broadband forum and i am sure someone will have a program for you.

Hope this helps, Glad to see a user of Avanti on here.

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

Twitter: HySpeedBB
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Mon 05-Dec-11 17:18:23
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Re: Satellite BB speeds and limits in Scotland


[re: HySpeedBroadband] [link to this post]
 
Hi Joel,

Looking at the poster aboves website, It looks as though they are selling Avanti, and are probably biased in their comments hence why they assure you it is the best system. As already mentioned Tooway are waiving the hardware cost on some packages, so I am not sure how the quoted states hardware from Tooway is still expensive.

Good luck

MS.

In reply to a post by HySpeedBroadband:
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!
Standard User HySpeedBroadband
(newbie) Tue 06-Dec-11 08:22:11
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Re: Satellite BB speeds and limits in Scotland


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
There is being biased and giving educated advice, you can ask the companies who use Avanti rather than Tooway. We have had customers ring up directly asking for Avanti as it is seen as a professional system.

Hardware costs are always expencive for systems if you already have an Avanti system that cost is gone. Out of curiosity is it a 'Hughes satellite dish'?

if you are starting out fresh then you have to weight up the benefits. and weather it is for gernal e-mail and surfing or if you want to skype etc where bandwidth is needed a system which provides a lower contention ratio may be better.

Sorry if i come across biased in anyway, do some research and have a look at different companies.

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

Twitter: HySpeedBB
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Wed 07-Dec-11 20:56:43
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Re: Satellite BB speeds and limits in Scotland


[re: HySpeedBroadband] [link to this post]
 
Who am I to argue, but I am not sure this is strictly true. Judging by the capacity of the satellites and the proposed number of users for each, it would make more sense that Tooway would be using a lower contention. I would like to know Tooways answer to your comments regarding their contention being 300 to 1 as apposed to Avanti 25 to 1.

In the long run, I'd be highly surprised if any current satellite service provided contention of 25 to 1, however if this was true, the consumer would almost certainly be paying top dollar for it.

Back to the point though.

Joel,
As Hyspeed states, considering that you already have the Hylas dish in place, if you are not happy, I would go back to the company and try to barter a better deal, stating you are unhappy with the minimal upgrade. Perhaps try using a list of deals offered by their own resellers?
Or another option, provided you haven't signed up for another 12/18 months contract, maybe you could migrate towards a reseller? Perhaps Hyspeed can offer a better deal for simular price?

Good luck

In reply to a post by HySpeedBroadband:
When i mentioned the Gb usage it was mainly to the KU-band operators without naming names. some charge up to £15 a Gb over the limit. on a data plan of only 4 Gb's with children it is very hard to monitor.

Having worked with Avanti and still working with them prices have been changed recently in order to compete with the likes of Tooway etc. The new satellite is costly to run and Avanti have only just gone into owning a satellite so they are probably still trying to work out the fine details. But what i have learned it Avanti and it's partners use a lower contention ratio and the upload speeds are quicker and more consistent due to this.

As for monitoring your own usage we have our own way to monitor how much you use, and we are currently giving customers use of software which monitors usage.

doing a quick Google uncovers lots of software that does it. Have a quick research into free software which is well used. or post Something in the Think broadband forum and i am sure someone will have a program for you.

Hope this helps, Glad to see a user of Avanti on here.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Wed 07-Dec-11 21:13:50
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Re: Satellite BB speeds and limits in Scotland


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
Also worth bearing in mind it is not just the satellite that may be the capacity limit, where the data is beamed down to earth and goes onto a fibre link, the capacity on this will not be free.

Not enough actual users are posting about the experience to form a decent idea of how the services appear, but I do know one person who got a lot lower than the 4Meg upload they had hoped for.

Andrew Ferguson, [email protected]
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 HySpeedBroadband
(newbie) Thu 08-Dec-11 14:57:29
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Re: Satellite BB speeds and limits in Scotland


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
Just found this quick info sheet online, comparing tooway and hylas systems.

http://www.broadband-anywhere.com/compare-providers....

this company sell both systems, so cannot be biased either way.

It may help to read what they say...

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

Twitter: HySpeedBB
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Wed 22-Aug-12 08:51:55
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Re: Satellite BB speeds and limits in Scotland


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Hi
We live in a remote location on west coast of Scotland, running a small tourism business with internet provided by Avanti (£46 per month for 25GB ex VAT) at the moment. Trouble is that as our guests get more reliant on wifi, we are using up the data limit before the end of the month.

I am having to look for alternative supplier. We have been offered Tooway 18mbps, 6 mbps download and 50gb download limit for £59.95 per month by Network Scotland with a installation cost of £275 - a new disc would be required. (So double the data download for £14 more a month).

Since the new Avanti satellite was installed last year, I have been happy with consistent & reliable internet connection, though it is v expensive.

Please could you explain what you mean in your comment about 'contention' as I dont understand what that means. Many thanks. Also any experience of using Tooway service would be good also!!
Standard User blueacid
(committed) Sat 25-Aug-12 15:51:30
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Re: Satellite BB speeds and limits in Scotland


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
Contention is fairly easy to explain; for every 'n' users that can connect at 10mbit, they might purchase only 'y' in capacity. The assumption being that you would not all be trying to transfer data at once.

For example, at 50:1 contention, the satellite might have 10mbit to share between 50 different users. With fairly tight usage limits it's a reasonable guess that not all of them would be using the system at once.

This is essential for residential and small business services; connections (even in the city on a leased line, where remote location doesn't add a price premium) are very expensive for a dedicated private link for only your use - few hundred quid per month for 2mbit!

Hope that this helps you understand this at least. For your specific needs, you might like to look into whether you would like to block specific services & therefore get a router that can do this. For arguments sake, I'll bet you could save a few GB by blocking Youtube and iPlayer. OK sure some people can get around a simplistic block, but there'll be equally as many that cannot - thus saving you digging deep for someone to burn a few GB on iPlayer HD! Or you can spend more to allow your guests unfettered usage; I'd say that's more of a business decision on your part than a technical decision that we can make here.
Standard User ukhardy07
(experienced) Sat 25-Aug-12 18:30:09
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Re: Satellite BB speeds and limits in Scotland


[re: joelm335] [link to this post]
 
Hi there

You say there's no 3G coverage
Nearly everyone I know who says this actually has SOME coverage from one of the operators
The operators all use different masts so often o2 may have nothing whereas Talkmobile might etc
Mobile companies are spending over 1 million a day often so things change very quickly

If you send me your post code I can look into it for you & find out exactly. You can PM me it smile
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Thu 18-Oct-12 10:43:02
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[re: epyon] [link to this post]
 
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