Monday, May 25, 2009

Avanti UK to Develop New 50Mbps Hercules Broadband Satellite

The US is not the only country where rural Internet users are being starved of broadband. Several companies over in the UK are talking about offering satellite Internet service to rural locations in Britain, possibly lured by the hope of government subsidies for USO [Universal Service Obligation] solutions.

In other words, satellite is being put forward as a way for telcos to say "we offer broadband to everyone" without having to string cable or put up radio towers to all corners of the realm. However, the publication ISPreview has very rightly raised concerns "about the use of satellite services as a USO solution...High hardware/installation costs, uselessly restrictive usage allowances, unreliable speeds and poor latency are chief among those [concerns]."

We agree. In fact we couldn't say it better than this: "To date we've yet to see a satellite broadband service that could negate most of these fears..."

The claimed download speed of the latest Avanti proposal is impressive, but until the latency and bandwidth cap issues are addressed, satellite's a non-starter in our opinion. ISPreview have just completed an interview with Avanti "where some very difficult questions were put to them" and the interview is expected to surface at the start of June.

ISPreview UK

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