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Satellite Broadband: 2 sides of the coin

Activ8me NBN Satellite

Satellite broadband is a type of internet connection that benefits people specifically those in the rural outskirts. Unlike DSL or a cable internet service, this type of connection does not rely on terrestrial cell sites, but instead on a dish connected to a satellite that orbits in space.

Satellite technology is not new, but it is only recently when internet providers are giving out this service. Ultimately, broadband through satellite channels provides the convenience of a reliable internet connection regardless of where one is located on earth or how far one is from an internet source. Most internet connections that we have today are powered through wires, cables and signals that all in all require the person to be within a considerable range to these means of data transmission. This may not be a problem for people who are always stationary when connecting to the internet, but it does pose a significant limitation for people who need to be in different locations such as when they are needed while inside a train or a ship.

Before satellite broadband, the only way people can connect to the internet is via a dial-up modem connection. Connecting to the internet via dial-up is already slow in the rural centre, what more in the regional outskirts? With the roll out of satellite internet, it is hoped that more and more people from the regional cities will be able to connect to a faster internet and be active participants in the information exchange chain in the process.

For commercial and industrial entities, a satellite connection to the internet provides continuity for business operations. For instance, during a disaster or a calamity that can potentially damage or disable terrestrial networks, a satellite broadband can help people and organisations still communicate and keep in touch with one another as if no interruptions have taken place. Also, for businesses that have remote offices in all parts of the country or the world, a satellite connection to the internet can positively influence business continuity and productivity.

However, there are definitely disadvantages when it comes to having a satellite broadband connection. Although infrastructures are not complete yet and a lot of improvements can still be done, it is important to look into the disadvantages with a little caution and reservation.

One of the disadvantages of this kind of broadband connection is that it takes a long while to upload and download data. With a satellite connection, the internet has to travel several thousands of miles from earth, to the satellite and finally back down to earth. Indeed, there are latencies and delays that are relatively bearable. However, if people have to wait for internet to travel at 20,000 miles and more, that can be a significant cause of attrition among satellite internet subscribers. If time is a big currency for your communication needs and online activities, an extra ounce of patience and resiliency on the part of the internet user must be exercised regularly.

Moreover, with the heavy price tag that comes with a satellite broadband connection, the lack of resources can be a source of limitation among ruralites who want to be connected with the whole world.