Recently, Dish Network rolled out its own satellite broadband service targeted to rural clients. According to a study by the FCC, nearly 19 million Americans are still rely on DSL, or have no broadband access at all. A few days later, Hughes Network announced its latest internet by satellite services, the HughesNet Gen4, which aims to deliver higher-speeds at a premium.
All this development in satellite internet access begs the question, is it really the best choice for rual clients?
Experts say, it isn’t. But neither is it the worst solutions for remote connectivity.
Rural communities are on the losing end because they remain cut-off from broadband networks. Some operators simply find it impossible to build fibre networks, especially if you’re looking at some vast desert, deep forest, or treacherous mountain area. Satellite broadband has since then been the only alternative that could provide decent service. And in many ways, the technology is crucial to these regions.
The commercial rise of the Ka band frequency however, may change all that. The new spectrum is the next step in increasing bandwidth capacity and minimizing the cost of satellite broadband. It can also make VSAT systems more affordable for many end-users.
The main concern now for those who do want internet by satellite is to read the fine print. Operators offering the service often require the customer to bundle it with satellite TV packages or else you pay an additional fee. If it’s you’re first time to use the technology, you might even have to pay extra for hardware installation. Other satellite broadband service also limit the use of allotted data caps to specific times of a day. These little things may affect how people view the technology. It is important to note that offerings vary from company to company. However, at present, operated offering such services are more keen in bundling their solutions.
In the end, it’s important to note that despite some costly setbacks, internet by satellite may be the most reasonable solution available. According to the FCC, the government is already looking into other technologies which include claiming back TV channels which have been underused, thus providing more channels for the transmission of broadband access.