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A down-to-earth look at satellite broadband.

If your organization is implementing a teleworking (aka telecommuting telecommuting, an arrangement by which people work at home using a computer and telephone, transmitting work material to a business office by means of a modem and telephone lines; it is also known as telework. , remote worker or distance working) model as a means of reducing overhead, or if you require a method of directly connecting remotely-located employees, equipping these people with broadband Internet See broadband.  connectivity can be a challenge. Decide whether satellite broadband is an immediate and suitable technology solution for your organization.

Types of Satellite Broadband

Satellite broadband uses a satellite to connect customers to the Internet. The connection may be a one-way or two-way connection.

One-way satellite, which is the older of the two technologies, allows you to download information from the Internet at high speed via satellite, but the satellite connection is not used to send or upload the data. With a one-way satellite service, a telephone line or an ISDN ISDN
 in full Integrated Services Digital Network

Digital telecommunications network that operates over standard copper telephone wires or other media.
 (Integrated Services Digital Network Integrated services digital network (ISDN)

A generic term referring to the integration of communications services transported over digital facilities such as wire pairs, coaxial cables, optical fibers, microwave radio, and satellites.
) connection is used to upload the data.

Two-way satellite broadband uses a satellite link to both send and receive data. Typical downstream speeds are 400 to 500 Kbps, while upstream speeds on two-way services are typically 40 Kbps.

Why Choose Satellite Broadband?

Satellite broadband is especially useful because it is accessible by teleworkers, traveling sales representatives, or remote office staff who don't have access to traditional high-speed services like cable or DSL DSL
 in full Digital Subscriber Line

Broadband digital communications connection that operates over standard copper telephone wires. It requires a DSL modem, which splits transmissions into two frequency bands: the lower frequencies for voice (ordinary
. If you want access to broadband satellite, you can get it anywhere in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. . Satellite broadband solutions also excel in terms of file distribution, e-learning, and voice and audio streaming.

Action Plan

Here are some things to consider before bringing satellite broadband to your workforce:

1. Determine your immediate needs. Holding off implementation with hope for future cost reductions and performance improvements may be an option for your organization. Before you implement something that your organization really doesn't need, ask yourself the following questions:

* How advanced are your teleworking initiatives and does satellite access need to be implemented immediately?

* Do you have a large number of users in your organization that live or work in areas where they would have no access to broadband other than by satellite? If your users are located in one of the 9.5 million homes or small offices in the U.S. and Canada that will not get access to any other type of broadband service for years, satellite could be the only choice (source: Network World Fusion, February 2004.)

* Are your users accustomed to having broadband access, or could they make do with dial-up?

* Would your users be doing the type of work where they would seriously benefit from having a broadband connection?

2. Look at the types of available services. Satellite services involve equipment and installation costs that can make them relatively expensive in some situations. The reason that many companies have not adopted satellite broadband is because of the cost of user premises equipment and installation, plus the need for a telephone line or ISDN connection for upstream transmissions in one-way satellite service. But today, you can get two-way satellite service, or lower-cost one-way satellite service. Consider the following approximate price guidelines per user:

* Two-way satellite Internet services cost a fair bit more up front and do not generally support phone services. Users would need a separate service for telephony.

** Hardware (satellite dish, modems) -- $400

** Professional installation (federally mandated) -- $200-$350

** Monthly service fees -- $60-$80/month (source: Lonestar Broadband)

* Since the market is moving toward two-way satellite, the older one-way service has dropped in price. However, one-way service requires users to maintain a phone or ISDN connection to request information from the Internet. This additional cost needs to be considered. Also, as with dial-up services, you cannot use the phone and the Internet simultaneously.

** Hardware and professional installation (dish, modem) -- $150

** Monthly service fees (for 25 hours of service) -- $30-$40/month

** Additional ISP (1) See in-system programmable.

(2) (Internet Service Provider) An organization that provides access to the Internet. Connection to the user is provided via dial-up, ISDN, cable, DSL and T1/T3 lines.
 fees (dial-up) -- $20/month (source: Lonestar Broadband)

3. Confirm VPN (Virtual Private Network) A private network that is configured within a public network (a carrier's network or the Internet) in order to take advantage of the economies of scale and management facilities of large networks.  compatibility. Since the onset of satellite broadband, there has been controversy surrounding its compatibility with Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). Some claim the technologies are totally incompatible, and others claim that VPNs simply knock the online connection down to dial-up speeds, which defeats the purpose of satellite broadband. You'll want to confirm compatibility with your VPN in discussions with potential service providers. For example, one vendor, Hughes Network Systems Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HNS), is a provider of broadband satellite network products for businesses and consumers. HNS pioneered the development of high-speed satellite Internet access services and IP-based networks with its original DirecPC service but which it now markets  (, has taken the following approaches to this problem:

* To eliminate the need for a remote-access VPN, Hughes began to provide its accounts with dedicated bandwidth over a private network connection, but customers kept pushing to use VPNs.

* Hughes then developed TurboVPN for its DirecWay service, which uses an IPsec VPN in conjunction with acceleration techniques, including spooling (Simultaneous Peripheral Operations OnLine) The overlapping of low-speed operations with normal processing. Spooling originated with mainframes in order to optimize slow operations such as reading cards and printing. . The TurboVPN is currently in beta testing (programming) beta testing - Testing a pre-release (potentially unreliable) version of a piece of software by making it available to selected users. This term derives from early 1960s terminology for product cycle checkpoints, first used at IBM but later standard throughout the  and is expected to be finalized in the near future.

4. Keep your eyes on the standards. Since an industry standard open interface is essential to compatibility and the future of satellite broadband, ensure that your organization is ready to adapt because the industry has yet to agree on one. Here are the standards in the running:

* Hughes Network Systems, with endorsement from the Telecommunications Industry Association See TIA.

(body, standard) Telecommunications Industry Association - (TIA) An association that sets standards for communications cabling.

Cables that TIA set standards for include: EIA/TIA-568A and EIA/TIA-568B category three, four and five cable.
 (TIA (1) (Telecommunications Industry Association, Arlington, VA, A membership organization founded in 1988 that sets telecommunications standards worldwide. It was originally an EIA working group that was spun off and merged with the U.S. ) (, is rallying for the adoption of the IPoS (Internet Protocol over Satellite) standard, and has lined up support for IPoS from several technology companies, including Intel, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft. No other vendors are officially on board.

* WildBlue ( is taking a different direction. The company is adopting an existing standard, Data-Over-Cable Service Interface Specifications (DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) A cable modem standard from the CableLabs research consortium (, which provides equipment certification for interoperability. ), which is commonly used for cable modems. This, according to WildBlue, lets the company lower costs on its equipment, although customers will still have to buy an expensive satellite dish to use the service.

* Created through the DVB-Forum, another standard, DVB-RCS DVB-RCS Digital Video Broadcasting - Return Channel Via Satellite  (DVB's standard for Return Channel via Satellite), is also in the running.

Bottom Line

Satellite broadband can be an effective solution for organizations that wish to provide teleworkers with a reliable broadband connection. Decide whether to implement it now, later, or never. Waiting for the smoke to clear on a few issues might be your best bet.

Want to Know More?

From Network World Fusion:

* "Teleworkers drive broadband market."

* "Satellite broadband improves for teleworkers."

* "Worth a look if you're linking remote workers."

* "Satellite broadband update." gaskin

the muscular portion of the hindleg between the stifle and hock, corresponding to the human calf. The term is used in horses and sometimes dogs.

Other Sources:

* "Hughes pushes for satellite broadband standard," from InfoWorld.

* "Satellite Broadband Is a Key Resource for Distributed Workforce Challenges," from Executive Technology. SOID storage object identifier
SOID Shore Ordnance Infrared Decoy
SOID State Organization for Industrial Development
SOID State of Oklahoma Insurance Department

* "Satellite seeks broadband re-entry RE-ENTRY, estates. The resuming or retaking possession of land which the party lately had.
     2. Ground rent deeds and leases frequently contain a clause authorizing the landlord to reenter on the non-payment of rent, or the breach of some covenant, when the
," from CNET (body) CNET - Centre national d'Etudes des Telecommunications. The French national telecommunications research centre at Lannion.

* "Satellite Broadband Primer," from Lone-star Broadband.

Used with permission from Info Tech Research Group
COPYRIGHT 2004 Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:Gadgets & Gizmos
Publication:Catalyst (Dublin, Ohio)
Date:Sep 1, 2004
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