back to article Satellite to offer 10Mbit broadband to entire UK

A French firm plans to launch a satellite next year that it says will offer the entire UK up to 10Mbit/s broadband, including rural areas that are poorly served by ADSL and cable. This week, Eutelsat is launching "Tooway" broadband in the UK at up to 2Mbit/s, via an existing satellite. Its new craft, launching in the third …


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Satellite Broadband...

I had the BT two-way satellite broadband quite a few years ago and have to say the whole service was crap from the offing. High ping times, ridiculous throttling and unstable speeds, plus the modem and software didn't get on terribly well together. I seem to remember it cost around 1000 quid at the time and I binned it after 6 months. I thought it would be ideal where I live - how wrong could I be? Within 3 weeks of installation I was getting the 'stop using it' emails, I wouldn't say I was hammering it by any means! I went back to dial-up and waited until my 1 Meg ADSL came along 2 years later, yeah, I'm quite rural! The moral of this story? Hell will freeze over before I ever consider a satellite service again!


Been there, done that

I was a beta tester for Tiscali's attempt at doing this about 6 years ago. It too was a bi-directional via satellite service (no phone line required), and yes it did work after a fashion.

First issue was the 1.2m dish bolted to the side of my house - dont imagine for a minute you can get a sufficient strength uplink signal from a dinky sky sized dish.

Secondly just like Sky TV it was prone to the weather. Microwaves don't like going through water very much (ie cloud and rain, something we get a lot of). Yes on a normal overcast day things worked. But heavy rain did knock it side ways.

Finally (and I hope they don't make this mistake) at the groundstation they had a whopping great proxy/cache server inorder to minimise the backhaul requirements and to give an illusion of better performance (ie remove the additional cable based latency). Problem with this was two fold, sites that require constant refreshing ran like dogs because the cache had to be updated, and secondly sites that required a secure login got blocked by the proxy so were un-accessible.

Paris Hilton

Digital Region

Stuff that. I'm writing from rural South Yorkshire. I'll wait for the 50MB fibre the EU are going to run to my kerbside.

Paris, 'cos she's sounds european.

Anonymous Coward

For those who cannot read...

it says..

1. Connect your computer to our sleek Tooway™ modem.

2. Connect your internal system to the small exterior satellite dish with two cables, one for reception and the other for transmission.

3. Your home system then sends and receives signals via satellite.


3. Your home system then sends and receives signals via satellite

ok, so no phorm, no uberdatabase, and its eutelsat, the company thats been providing satellite services at 13E, 28E and other places, for years, and they are not a fly by night company

in case Wikipedia is a bit of a novel concept, I will help you

Eutelsat S.A. is a French-based satellite provider. Providing coverage over the entire European continent, as well as the Middle East, Africa, India and significant parts of Asia and the Americas, it is one of the world's three leading satellite operators in terms of revenues.[citation needed]

Eutelsat’s satellites are used for broadcasting 3,200 television and 1000 radio stations to more than 187 million cable and satellite homes. They also serve requirements for TV contribution services, corporate networks, mobile positioning and communications, Internet backbone connectivity and broadband access for terrestrial, maritime and in-flight applications. Eutelsat is headquartered in Paris. Eutelsat Communications Chairman of the Board and (CEO) is Italian Giuliano Berretta.

Its main craft have traditionally operated from 4 positions, each separated by three degrees of the Clarke belt - 7, 10, 13 and 16°E; although more positions are now operated.

now, sensible comments please enfants.


Too many cowards......

OK - its hard to tell who is making valid comments around here, but from the point of view of someone who does literally live in the middle of nowhere and is TOTALLY dependent on satellite comms (and also operates networks) the following should be noted:-

- Latency - yup min 550ms (round trip) but more likely up to a second - depends on the contention ratios they are planning per spot beam

- VOIP - works fine - ask the customers who bypass our PSTN network (its funny how you ignore latency when a call is free plus its not the same as sat networks of old) - but if you have a bandwidth cap don't use Skype - its a shocking bandwidth hog

- Gaming - sure - it works - I have customers who do nothing but that.....

- Technology - been around for several years with Thaicom in SE Asia

- If the remotes are using Ku Band then ok - if they are running Ka band, then if it rains go get a brew, watch TV until it stops and make sure you have a download manager

- if you want basic broadband (as opposed to dialup) - then say thanks and proffer up your 30 quid - if you already have broadband shut the f*** up and go whine somewhere else.. this is not for you. For basic service the caps should not come in to effect unless you get the taste (torrents., movies, etc.)...... in that case wait until the telco expands its service or go watch TV..

- Eutelsat are no fly by nighters - they have studied the model - not sure what their break even is but they won't just get up and walk away without offering an alternative...

Just my two cents...




I've been stuck on satellite for years. All you pikeys think the latency is "ok" need to get a life. I'll take DSL at 768Kb/s over satellite 10Mb/s down, 200Kb/s up any day of the week....

This depends on your workload. What the sat provs haze out on are details like VPN isn't very well accelerated so expect lower bandwidths if you use VPN. Some applications (like x-windows or that atrocious excuse for bloatware Lotus) send bajillions of packets back and forth and you can imagine the (lack of) performance when each packet has 300-600mS added to its round trip time (I've seen pings up to 3000mS to VPN proxies although more typical is 900-1300mS). Watching utoob is OK, but doing work... nah.

Lest you think that only workers using VPN are affected, just take an https: link for a spin...

So why put up with the pain? because the local excuse for a phone company has copper that only runs 21k on a GOOD day, on a bad day it's down to 4800! In a major city metro area! The caps on wireless are too low (I need 7-15GB/month, far below anything currently available even if connections could be made where I am).


@Henry Wertz and others

No, the satellite system in the article is NOT download only, it is satellite both ways. That's why the gubbins costs 400+ quid. It transmits back up to the satellite as well as receiving, and that makes the hardware more expensive. It also doubles the latency time as you get hit on both legs of the journey.

There are of course downlink only satellite systems as you describe, but this one is satellite in both directions. Hence the "Tooway" trademark.

Penguins have no landline.

Paris Hilton

Vive la France Part deux

I think that the thing that caught my attention was that a non-UK organisation seemed to have grabbed a concept of egality, fraternity, ... or something along those lines that makes UK based service providers from government down look like money grabbing fascists.

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At least 0.28 seconds latency guaranteed

With Geosynch orbit being about 42000Km from the centre of the Earth for an Earth station directly below it(on the equator) your looking at least 0.14secs 1 way. And of course we are rather farther above the equator. So a ping to the through to the Net will never be less than 280ms.

Note A sky digital channel needs about that level of bandwidth anyway. The operating frequency is a bit of a challenge. Not sure how many Sky channels go out one transponder

So how many transponders on the sat? How many simultaneous users?

This could end up being quite a small, expensive ISP.

But it doesn't have Phorm as standard. And it does make BT awkward.



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