For nearly 14.5 million Americans living in rural areas throughout the United States, satellite Internet services are often the only link between rural households and the rest of the world. To help these unserved and underserved areas enjoy the same quality of broadband access as their suburban and urban counterparts, the federal government is acting in partnership with satellite providers like DISH to deliver affordable high-speed Internet service to America’s rural areas.
Satellite Internet before High-Speed Services
Satellite Internet was once the sole province of global businesses in remote locations where staying connected was the highest priority. Prior to the advent of high-speed satellite Internet, satellite users often found the service helpful in areas where no other form of Internet connection was possible. However, it was often criticized for its relatively slow upload and download rates, along with extremely constricting bandwidth caps. These restrictions often had a crippling effect on how rural residents used Internet resources, leaving them far less likely to enjoy the latest online apps and streaming content. The latest advances in satellite technology should help bring Internet access speeds up to par with comparable DSL plans.
The Latest in Satellite Internet
New services like DISH’s dishNET aim to bring reliable high-speed broadband to rural areas that need it most. Instead of the traditionally slow data speeds that are normally associated with satellite service, dishNET plans to offer 4G-grade high-speed Internet access with data speeds comparable to most residential DSL packages. Unlike dial-up, satellite Internet offers an always-on connection so users can immediately start browsing their favorite websites, send e-mails and watch streaming content.
Benefits and Drawbacks
Satellite Internet works in the same manner as a satellite TV signal, with all of its benefits and drawbacks. Although satellite Internet is capable of working in almost any area, it still requires optimal placement for the best signal available – something that only a professional installer can do. These plans also have relatively low bandwidth caps when compared to DSL and cable Internet services. If a user goes over their bandwidth limit for the month, they risk having their Internet speed throttled down to 56k speeds. Satellite TV has more information on the benefits and drawbacks of satellite Internet service.
Overall, the cost of satellite Internet is comparable to purchasing a second phone line to accommodate dial-up Internet. DishNET plans to offer its high-speed Internet service for $39.99 for its 5 Mbps service and $49.99 for speeds up to 10 Mbps, with a significant discount when bundled with satellite TV service. DISH’s bundled packages also feature free installation, making it an attractive deal for first-time buyers. Rural residents may also benefit from federal subsidies, courtesy of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, that aim to drive Internet costs down even further for unserved and underserved communities.
High-speed satellite Internet may have a few drawbacks, but the service is much improved over dial-up and traditional satellite Internet plans. Thanks to the help of satellite providers, the federal government plans to expand the availability of high-speed Internet service to rural communities that would otherwise have done without Internet access.
Max Chennault blogs about entertainment technology and how it’s changing. He writes for a number of blogs online, sharing his thoughts and opinions. Check here for more details SatelliteTVFamily.com