back to article Ariane 5 greenlights fat pipe net satellite

A California broadcast satellite provider has inked a deal with Arianespace to launch the highest-ever-capacity commercial internet satellite into orbit over North America. Artist's concept of ViaSat-1, courtesy ViaSat ViaSat's new high capacity Ka-band spot beam satellite is expected to ride aboard the space-faring pack- …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    DLS eh?

    What is this DLS you speak of? ;)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Net Sat

    So what are they doing about the latency problem with Sat internet connections?

    Unless this is somehow addressed it won't get much of a foothold against DSL or WIFI.

    The average home user wants VOIP and gaming, latency critical apps.

  3. Chris Miller

    "help make satellite a mainstream internet alternative"

    Not unless they can do something about the 250ms latency imposed by the speed of light on a round trip to geostationary orbit. It's a great solution for folks who will never get a cable or DSL connexion, but it can never be a replacement for land-based technologies.

  4. Chris C

    How many customers?

    "The ViaSat-1 will have a throughput of about 100Gb/s... ViaSat claims the satellite will let distributors price a basic service at 2Mb/s... It's expected to be able to provide service to about two million subscribers."

    So they're expecting to provide service of 1,000Gb/s (512Kb/s) to 4,000Gb/s (2Mb/s) from a 100Gb/s satellite? It's good to see the practice of massively overselling capacity is alive and well.

    And am I the only one who thinks even 2Mb/s will be virtually useless by the time this is launched? With the massive increase in size (and thus bandwidth) used by most websites in recent years, even 2Mb/s will look like dial-up speed for anything other than email. I'm sure some people in rural areas (or for whatever reason can't get high-speed Internet through other means) will be happy to wait 10-20 seconds for each page to load, but most others will probably think it's not worth the cost they'll have to pay for it.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    oh well there goes the PLANET!!!

    T-Minus 3 years till SKYNET TAKES OVER and wee Squishys must assume the position under our MegaLaser equiped Cyba-Mecha OVERLORDS.....

    time to find a nice 6foot deep hole to live/ or die in whilst we can.....

    mines the one with "The Apocolypse is Neigh" just above the Roundal target on the back...

  6. Nick L


    A good idea for bulk transfer, but the *propagation times*, my dear ...

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. yeah, right.

    orbit? Fact checker, aisle 3.

    It's unlikely to be "in orbit over North America". More likely to be "in orbit over Ecuador", or some other place on the equator. That is, after all, where geosynchronous orbits need to be.

  9. Hud Dunlap
    Black Helicopters

    What about the police radar?

    Isn't this the same band that the police radar use. My Valentine 1 is going to go nuts.!!!

  10. Mage Silver badge


    Satellite is Good for Broadcast.

    I'm sceptical about these Ka Internet business plans due to the 800ms Latency and extra rain fade on Ka.

    2 Million people on 100GBps is indeed 50kbps per person. At 50:1 contention, it's 2.5Mbps.

    But that is Clear Sky. It uses adaptive modulation on up and down links and in heavy rain will give 200kbps at 50:1 contention on downlink.

    Uplinks are about 1/8th speed at best. Users want more like 4:1, 5Mbps and <50ms latency for VOIP and Gaming.

    Unless you use the flavour of VPN that viasat supports natively on their modem you lose all the TCP/IP accelerator features. As is the case for encrypted Torrents.

    Similar Ka is launching in Europe @13E in similar Time Frame. US already has similar "Wild Blue".

    In the end these may make satellite TV cheaper. Sat TV can't use the ACM on downlink, but needs CCM, so speed is the same (and lower) in Clear Sky and Rain.

  11. Ryan

    You mean DSL?


  12. Anonymous Coward

    "The Apocolypse is Neigh"

    :-) There's a loony old horse who walks up and down Oxford Street wearing a sandwich board that says that...

  13. Claire Rand


    ok not so good for games, passable for IM, though obviously not ideal, but for stuff like p2p, or anything like email or general web surfing its probably fine.

    depends on the price they charge. if they offer it as "unfiltered, limited only by bandwidth" i.e. no specific throttling but when its full it slows down. it may fly.

    especially if the link kit to upload/download is a black box on an ethernet wire (or wifi) thats easy to set up. make it need a phone line for the uplink and its dead in the water. if you have a phone line you don't need it.

    it comes down to price. slow but cheap? or no bandwidth caps but slow? or seriously fast, cheap but limited and they may have a chance.

    limit it in any serious way, or have the connection kit seriously expensive and its dead.

    if i coudl sign up as follows:

    - I buy the kit, then a per month sub (no contract other than 30 day) for a reasonable price - tick

    - you supply the kit free, with a tweleve month sub for a reasonable price - maybe, but I'll let someone else try it first)

    I'd look at the price for a years usage at my expected bandwidth (sub 2GB/month)

  14. Martin Saunders

    Re: Latency

    Web browsing is horrible over satellite connections, particularly bi-directional satellite. The amount of data isn't huge, but its lots of itty bitty files which generates lots of individual TCP connections that never get going very quickly due to the high latency and small window sizes.

    I used to maintain an ISP satellite service in the 90's and the only way we could improve the performance of web browsing was to proxy HTTP and break some RFCs to keep TCP window sizes big. Even doing that, some commercial apps still used to run far better over ISDN or even analogue dial..

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