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UK Satellite broadband

UK satellite broadband



12:57 pm on Jul 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I am considering moving to a location that does not have ADSL broadband and probably never will, so satellite broadband appears to be the only option. It still appears to be very expensive when you need to upload as well as download data (1500 installation including VAT and starting at 70 a month service charge), is there other issues that should be considered other than the horrendous costs involved.

... and before anyone suggests dial-up, don't, as I download / upload far too much data for that to be realistic.


1:02 pm on Jul 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Make sure it's going to be fast enough for what you want.
Bear in mind that the basic data rate is not the only factor governing overall speed.
It's a bit like the fact that a 54MBPS wireless LAN actually runs much slower than half the speed of a 100MBPS wired network.
Except that getting it wrong could be an expensive mistake for you.


1:07 pm on Jul 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think the biggy with satellite broadband is very high latency, although whether that's a problem for you depends on what you need the connection for.


1:31 pm on Jul 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

With the right acceleration equipment, latency is not a problem that you have to worry about. Don't play games or daytrade unless your system is installed and configured for those purposes (much money!).

Go with a longstanding reputable company, even if the offering seems a little less sparkling than the new guy down the block. It takes guts to survive in the residential satellite broadband market and the new fellows drop out like flies, and leave you with expensive equipment and a black screen.

Make sure that your installation is physically very well done and stand by when the installer do the first handshakes with the network operating center. It is good if you are able to do this yourself in future - but don't install yourself the first time around. Use an installer.

Oversizing is never a problem with satellite broadband. Go with the biggest installation you can afford.

Make sure you have a support number to the network operating center, and not just to the supplier. (shared nocs are common)

Make sure that you have a verifiable and good upload speed. Understand that if you get 60% of advertised speeds consistently, you're doing well.

Make sure you understand any type of fair access policy that your supplier has. It is expensive to exceed this, or they throttle you back for a while.

Fit your voip solution well with your satellite broadband solution. Some voip protocols work better than others on specific systems. Find out what your supplier's experience is and go with that.

Be sure that you'll have to move satellites from time to time as they get oversubscribed and slow. So, ask your installer for alternative satellites that can be pointed to with current equipment. (Birds they call the satellites)

We've had satellite broadband for many years. It works well but you have to have a good supplier and work closely with them. (We're in the business of course, but not in the UK.)


1:37 pm on Jul 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Oops sorry, I forgot to say, if you do all these things right, your equipment will simply work and work and work for years and you'll never have a problem. Upgrade every two years anyways.


1:45 pm on Jul 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

calicochris thanks for that, and to everyone.

I am only on the first step to this and I was wondering about the size of the dish, the larger the better sounds like good advice.

Having looked at a few websites on this (UK ones) I find them pretty confusing to figure out what you actually get for your money, the cost goes from "reasonable" to real expensive. The thought of working with 512KB downloads and 128KB upload speeds kind of breaks my heart!

... however it may make me create smaller faster to load web pages, which may be an advantage in the long run.


2:12 pm on Jul 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm not based in the UK, but do use a UK company for our broadband via sat. It IS pretty (actually, very) reliable, but it's not without problems.

We are moving office simply because we need wired broadband - too many people sharing the connection, too many people waiting for stuff to load. If it's just one or two people, fine, above that perhaps a different story.

It doesn't like 'chatty' protocols, in particular FTP. We have to jump through firewall/router hoops to make sure all FTP traffic gets rerouted to use ISDN lines. Again, irregular and small uploads, probably OK, but if you're transferring large amounts of small files, day in, day out, then be aware of the frustrations ahead.

VOIP - if you want to use VOIP/Skype, then their basic packages aren't up to it. I'd say you need to be spending a minimum of 200 quid a month on accelerated packages.

And finally, lagtime. It won't kill you, but going back to it after having used just a common-or-garden ADSL, then you will notice it, I guarantee. If, however, you have no choice, then it does work, just with the above caveats.

Edit: Actually, rereading your initial post, that setup cost sound a bit low to me - possibly that's for a non-business setup, which may not, for the reasons I outlined, be enough for you?


2:29 pm on Jul 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Matt - thanks

Yes ftp will be used all the time,

Funny I had totally forgot about ISDN (one gets spoiled with broadband), this is probably available and may be more reliable and cheaper that using Satellite, it is kind of going back to the bad old days when you want to live more than a few miles out of a town or city.

I was looking at a website that gave information on grants available to remote users - businesses and for Scotland it stated something like that the Scottish Executive don't do it as their plan is to work on upgrading infrastructure.

I went into a small hotel near Loch Tay - in Highland Perthshire at the weekend and out of curiosity (well we were looking at a cottage nearby) asked if they had broadband - the answer was no, that basically they could hardly download and send e-mails on their dial-up connection and this was causing real problems dealing with potential and real customers bookings.

So much for infrastructure ... although to be fair we are a lot further ahead in Scotland than even 2 years ago.

Anyway I will check out ISDN, I can live with the slower speeds (may swear more often) however I do need reliability, reasonable cost and ftp


2:36 pm on Jul 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I've no idea about how practical it would be - but have you considered 3G?


2:41 pm on Jul 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

vincevincevince, hi

3G, I am not sure this will be available - we are considering Caithness in the Highlands, pretty remote, I don't think 3G will be in this area as the population is very low.


2:57 pm on Jul 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

scotland... Caithness? Seems like you may well have 3g from O2 already, at the least - I dug this up - it is easy to find or sticky me if you can't.


Proposals: It is proposed to erect a 6.5 metre long flagpole to accommodate 3 no.
3g antennas onto the rear of the Army Cadet Hall at Princes Street in Thurso it is
also proposed to erect an equipment cabinet on top of a flat roofed extension at the
rear of the premises...
Applicant: 02 (UK) Limited (per Agent)
RECOMMENDATION: Grant planning permission.


9:06 pm on Jul 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I don't know about Scotland or even other areas of England but here in the south BT are ceasing ISDN even in areas not covered by ADSL.

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