Monday, August 16, 2010

Suck a bigger, faster satellite!

Satellite companies have been the also-rans of Internet providers. They serve a little more than one million customers, most in rural areas that have no other options. Their services can be painfully slow and cost twice as much as high-speed broadband. But two companies, WildBlue and HughesNet, are now in a race to change all that.

Both plan to launch satellites in the next couple of years that will dwarf their predecessors in space. WildBlue’s alone will have 10 times the capacity of its three current satellites combined. Such behemoths, the companies say, will enable them, at prices similar to what they now charge, to provide Internet service at speeds many times faster than they now offer — as fast, in some cases, as fiber connections.

Further, the companies argue, satellites can provide service more easily and cheaply per subscriber than their earthbound cable and phone company competitors, particularly to the 14 million to 24 million Americans who live in areas without broadband service.
Read more of this New York Times story by clicking here. (Registration required)
This is a crock and a travesty. Internet protocol based services via satellite will never measure up to terrestrial fiber telecom infrastructure and should never be offered anywhere outside of the polar and most remote regions of the globe.

The mere fact that satellite Internet connectivity is sold anywhere in the lower 48 United States is and should be regarded as a national embarrassment showing the rest of the world how far behind the information technology curve the nation has fallen.

Memo to HughesNet and Wildblue: sell your new and improved services to SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) in order to allow off world intelligent life to connect to the global Internet.

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