Sunday, December 23, 2012

Satalite Broadband and the Welsh Government Funding

Back in August we had a grant from the capital cost of Satallite Broadband. After a couple of months reflection, I conclude it is of lower utility than an 0.5 MB broadband line unless you only watch films and read email.

We are tied into a 1 year contract we can't get out of for a service that yes we use, but does not in any take the place of a decent broadband service. Lets be clear about what is wrong with it

  1. It does not tend to work at all on a Saturday morning or Sunday evening. For those with an on-call obligation or work to do at the weekend, it is worse than useless (worse because it prevents something better being put in place).
  2. The high latency prevents use of VPN and web browing is very slow where there are multiple components of web page. True that Satspeed turbo makes  a difference, as does tcp buffer and ack tuning, but a 8MB satallite line is slower than a 700k fixed line for normal use.
so you have to ask why the Welsh Government offer grants for this. I suspect there are 2 elements

  1. It does the job for some people who can't even get 0.5MB. It certainly does not replace a 1 MB fixed line.
  2.  It ticks the box that those with poor or no provision have something to make life easier for BT and the people who present statistics.
There are simple improvements that could be made. Other than Google there was no help to find out what options were available. There might have been options open for Broadband over wireless for example where I live, but I could not find it and I suspect I am more skilled at Google searches than most and have a better network of contacts than most. The office that gives out grants needs to be more hands on in offering advice, EU directive or no EU directive.

It is time there was an open minded examination of giving grants for Satallite Broadband by the Welsh Government. However the office that the relevant minister refered my A.M. to do not answer the phone in December !


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