Can I get Satellite Broadband?
Satellite broadband has a very strong uptake in regional Australia. The wide open spaces of Australia’s rural areas may be perfect for long drives and growing crops, but it proves expensive for ISPs to provide reliable Internet connections due to technology and cost constraints. That’s where satellite broadband comes into its own.
So what’s satellite all about and is it really worth the cost? Are there speed issues that you need to know about? What are 1-way and 2-way satellites?
1-way satellites transmit data one way through the satellite when you download, and use conventional dial-up for uploading data. So if you’re browsing different pages or downloading music you get all of the speed of satellite broadband, however when you upload data, like send e-mails, fill out forms or participate in online games, then it uses the slower dial-up connection.
- Fast for browsing
- Cheaper than 2-way
- Suitable for users who don’t want slow download speeds
- Can be installed in some cases by the user
- Online gaming and uploading music/picture/videos is pretty much out
- Lots of lag when playing online games or uploading movies
2-way satellites send data in both directions at the same speed, whether you’re uploading or downloading. This is ideal for especially remote areas, or where phone line problems constantly hamper communication.
- Speeds in two directions up to 800kbps
- No need for any cables or phone lines
- Can be used anywhere with clear line of site to the sky
- Much more expensive
- Required to be installed by a technician
Providers and Costs
There are no where near the number of Satellite Broadband providers as there are ADSL. However, if you shop around and use our Product Finder to compare prices and features, you'll be ahead of the pack. Here's a quick look at two Satellite Broadband providers:
BigPond is the most recognised provider of satellite services. They have a fairly comprehensive range of prices and plans to suit a range of budgets and all contracts are for 18 months. The BigPond pricing structure includes:
The 1-way satellite with dial up plans range from $49.95 per month (200mb of downloads at 256 kbps) up to $79.95 for 2GB of downloads per month at 512 kbps. Bundle with ISDN to increase upload speeds to 128kbps with prices ranging from $110 to $200.
For 2-way satellite the BigPond prices range between $105 to $500 with speeds between 256/64 kbps and 800/128 kbps available.
Orion Satellite has fairly comparable prices to Bigpond towards the top end of the market with a reduced contract period, 12 instead of 18 months.
Prices start at $86 for the basic 256/64kbps speed 500mb download plan anywhere up to $423 for the 800/256kbps with 4GB of downloads.
Satellites are more difficult to install than other services. For instance, while 1-way satellites can be installed by users, but it’s recommended that both 1-way and 2-way satellites are installed by technicians. The satellite can be roof mounted, but if you elect a size that’s too large to fit on to a roof, it will need to be installed on a pole somewhere on the premises.
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