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Satellite Hit By Poor Performance Issues

Posted: 24th Jan, 2006 By: MarkJ
Satellite is hardly one of the most well regarded methods of delivering broadband and a new study from Bridge Broadband echo's this, while also offering network management practices as a solution (quite a few might disagree):

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The growth in satellite broadband subscribers, particularly where landline services are unavailable, is creating a number of issues for users according to research from GuardianBox, the internet security division of Perth-based Bridge Broadband Services.

The research compared bandwidth savings that had been delivered between October and December 2005 for a range of sites using broadband satellite links in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

“Satellite broadband is rarely without set limits which means users have the additional complexity of managing bandwidth, since exceeding monthly limits can cost in the region of 25 pence per Mb, or £15 for an automatic Windows update of 60Mb. Another issue for heavy broadband satellite users is ‘throttling’ of the service by ISPs where speeds are deliberately slowed, to protect other customers,” comments Keith Fergie, managing director of Guardianbox.

The research showed that employing network management practices delivered an average bandwidth saving of 27.5% for the sites surveyed. Two sites surveyed showed almost a 50% saving in the bandwidth consumed.

“Specifically we’ve shown that intelligent network management techniques such as local storage for regularly visited content and traffic shaping provides a faster and cheaper option for satellite broadband users,” adds Fergie.

However this data does not include any analysis of security threats, which will be released next month. “I suspect the security issue could prove even more contentious. Spyware and viruses have themselves become more sophisticated and prevalent in the last twelve months and will have a direct imapcy on the bandwidth burnt by the VSat user and Vsat operator’s bandwidth. Where satellite connectivity effectively forms part of a user’s corporate network the risks simply can’t be ignored,” adds Fergie.

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Bridge itself is a satellite provider, making some of the press release sound almost like an own goal. Similarly many users have also suffered at the hands of equally confusing traffic management policies, making this far from a complete solution.

Satellite as a whole, when delivered direct to the end user, tends to be costly, technically confusing, underperforming (especially with multiplayer gaming) and inflexible with bandwidth consumption and speed allowances.
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