People have known for a long time that satellite internet is expensive and slow. But since technology is always changing and getting better, that is no longer true. Satellite internet is already better than dial-up and some DSL services, and as new technologies come out, it might be just as good as cable or fiber internet. This means that soon, high prices and slow speeds might be a thing of the past.
According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), cable internet is available to about 89% of the U.S. and fiber is available to only 41%. This means that millions of Americans don’t have access to broadband, and satellite internet might not be the “last resort” after all.
And also, It might be a good way to get a faster connection and wider coverage, especially for people who live in rural areas where neither cable nor fiber-optic is available.
We can expect a lot of good things from low earth orbit (LEO) satellites. Here, we’ll look at some of the pros and cons of satellite internet now and how the new LEO technology can make it better and fix its problems.
Satellite Internet’s Pros and Cons
Satellite internet has a lot of benefits, such as the ability to connect to Wi-Fi and fast speeds for streaming services. Here are a few more:
- Satellite internet is available everywhere, even in small towns and the middle of nowhere.
- You don’t have to have a home phone in order to use the internet.
- With speeds of up to 25 Mbps and 100 Mbps, it is faster than DSL and dial-up.
- HughesNet and Viasat both let you rent routers so that you can use Wi-Fi at home.
Satellite Internet Has Its Drawbacks
- At the moment, cable or fiber-optic internet is more reliable and faster than satellite internet.
- Due to the smaller bandwidth, providers put strict limits on how much data you can use each month.
- From the satellite to the home dish, it takes longer for Internet signals to go back and forth.
- Because equipment, running costs, and satellites are so expensive, the service costs more than other types of internet.
The New Technology for LEO
Low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites might be the answer to the problems that satellite internet has had in the past. If a group of high-tech satellites flew close to the earth, we could keep getting the benefits of satellite internet while getting rid of or at least reducing the problems that have come with it in the past. LEO satellites will be able to provide fast speeds that are on par with other connection types, and because they are farther away from Earth, latency problems will be at a minimum.
Some companies, like SpaceX, OneWeb, Boeing, and Telesat, are in charge of this project. They are using new and advanced technology to lower the cost of making and launching a lot of satellites in the coming years. SpaceX was the first to launch a series of satellites last year, but no information about service or Internet plans has been released so far.
OneWeb says that automation will allow them to make up to three satellites a day at a cost of only $1 million each, whereas a normal communications satellite could cost up to $150 million. This will help them lower the cost of production. Less expensive setup and ongoing costs could help bring down the price of satellite internet for customers. SpaceX, on the other hand, will use its reusable rockets, which can carry up to three satellites per launch, to send up a lot of satellites.
A World-Wide Answer
Satellite internet is much better at getting to remote places than cable or fiber. If there were thousands of satellites in orbit around the Earth, people in rural areas and developing countries could all get high-speed internet. But this is good news not only for people who live in rural or remote areas with few internet options, but also for people who use the internet everywhere, even in big cities.
If satellite internet can offer faster speeds and less latency, it could become as popular as cable or fiber in any market. Some people think that satellite internet is improving faster than any other kind of internet service.