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satellite net access

2007-05-08 15:33:12.230187+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

Those of us who live out in the boonies are often interested in alternatives for net access. And I'm interested in net access as a utility that may need to be rationed the way that smarter appliances might ration electricity use in a house with limited peak availability. HughesNet sucks, part 8 looks at some of the issues and options for Canadians, but those of you who haven't yet bought homes up there in preparation for when the Alberta plains will have the ideal climate may find something useful too.

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-05-08 16:50:00.448035+00 by: meuon

Between my main colo server, Comcast at home, and the data on my cell phone so I can tether my laptop as well as surf and do email while mobile, I spend approx $225 a month on internet connectivity. Add in a couple of other connections I leech (with permission) and my total monthly connectivity is worth: $300-400/mth. But then, I've cut way back from the days of having a couple of Tier 1 DS3's.. but it's still what I need to make a living.

If you want to live in an area without cheap high-speed nearly "unlimited" capacity, that's a choice. Wendy's probably on a Consumer Plan at about $60/mth. I noticed that they have other plans, with more bandwidth and speed available. As Wendy is buying connections from a system/paradigm with limited capacity and expensive upgrades (launch a rocket and satellite) these are not bad prices and if I chose to live away from the 'net, would probably be paying $100+ per month if I needed more bandwidth. The latency would kill me, but we really don't use much total bandwidth at home.

Compared to a legendary $3k/mth 128k fractional T1 circa 1994, this is a great deal.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-05-08 18:01:39.241677+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, when I think back to what I used to manage to do with a 300 baud modem...

I think most of their complaints with HughesNet come from trying to run Windows (with automatic update and all that). Stuff that they don't have directly in their user experience that's chewing through their bandwidth allocations in unpredictable ways. But back when I had the Metricom wireless modem I developed some tics and practices that made low bandwidth work for me, and I think that some good caching proxies and traffic shaping could do similar things for people on satellite feeds.

I'll bet a smart traffic shaper that only let Windows Update have bandwidth after 11 PM would probably solve most of their problems.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-05-08 18:30:07.99914+00 by: meuon

I forgot about all the WinXP updates that happen whether you want them to or not. I rarely boot into WinXP, and I've learned that if I want to use it, I need to do it with some advance time for it to download updates and apply them or I have a 'rock' not a laptop. Last one was something around 18 updates.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-05-09 01:00:47.787504+00 by: TheSHAD0W

I've heard good things about WildBlue. The slow package is $50/mo, the fastest $80, much better deal than Hughes.

#Comment Re: btw made: 2007-05-10 00:27:47.34717+00 by: ghasty

my "new" company is now touting 100% coverage for broadband. What's not wired is now thru sat (http://attwb.com)

#Comment Re: made: 2007-05-10 00:46:39.577842+00 by: Dan Lyke

Hmmm... the wireless comes from Wildblue, and the uplink is actually to the satellite. Latency would suck, but if Comcast pisses me off one too many times...