It's the only option for thousands of Australians who can't get decent broadband any other way. So what exactly do you get with a satellite connection?
You might have cable, ADSL2+ or fibre, but it's sometimes easy to forget that thousands of Australians get their Internet via satellite.
Today iiNet announced NBN satellite plans, which provided us with a good excuse to take a quick look at what you actually get for your money with a dish instead of an ADSL or cable modem. Even if you don't need satellite, it's interesting to see what it costs. It really does put things in perspective.
Take a look at iiNet's NBN Satellite prices below.
Compared to most ADSL2+ plans, this isn't going to set any records for value. But it's actually a lot better than what satellite users have been used to getting.
For example, here are Skymesh's second release NBN plans:
Here are Clear Network's 2nd release NBN plans for comparison:
The 6Mbps (peak, not typical) download speeds for these NBN Interim Satellite Services are better than previous services, which were advertised with up to 4Mbps. In the past, you might have paid $49.95 for 7GB.
Where can you get it? From who?
There are more than 2,500 homes reportedly connected to the NBN Interim Satellite Service. Users have a choice of seven providers: Activ8me, ant, Bordernet, Clear Networks, Harbour IT, reachnet and SkyMesh (these NBN satellite providers are listed here).
There is also a list of criteria you have to meet to get connected, which we've listed in part here. Specifically, you can't already have access to "metro-comparable" commercial broadband. Ie.:
1. Access to the internet at a peak data speed of at least 512/128 kbps and 3GB per month usage allowance (with no restrictions within these limits on downloads or uploads or usage time);
2. A price to the customer over three years of no more than $2500 including equipment, installation, connection, account establishment, travel costs and ongoing provision of the service; and
3. The retail service provider offering the broadband service can install the service within a reasonable period of time.
There's also this link where you can check if you qualify for an NBN Interim Satellite Service.
In terms of speed, the NBN Co web site talks about "exploring the potential" of delivering 100Mbps. For the meantime though, 6/1Mbps is the best on offer, until two new satellites are launched in 2015, raising peak speeds to 12/1Mbps.
Are you connected via satellite? Add your comments below.