The Internet has been an enabler for almost everything we do, especially when considering the current circumstances we are experiencing globally. As the Internet expands to become an important tool in our daily lives, it is imperative for everyone to have access to this technology.
Apart from the commonly used optical fibre technology, satellite internet can be implemented to enhance access to the Internet, especially in rural areas as the complexity of routing the optical fibre cables, telephone cables and the requirement of other infrastructures are negated in the application of satellite internet.
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What is Satellite Internet?
Satellite internet provides internet service through satellite dishes – like how ASTRO provides its huge catalogue of TV channels. Satellite internet utilises three satellite dishes – one at the Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) hub, one in space, and one attached to your property (the only dish you will need to install), will relay communication with each other to provide Internet. In addition to the satellite dish, a modem is needed to transmit the Internet connection from the satellite dish to your devices. Adding on a router with wireless functionality will allow wireless access to the Internet.
How can satellite technology ease access to the Internet in rural areas?
Satellite internet does not require telephone lines or cable systems, but instead, as mentioned earlier, utilises satellite technology to transfer data “over-the-air”. It can function almost anywhere and does not require additional investments in facilities and infrastructures.
Why can’t we just use mobile (3G/4G) connections, you may ask. That’s because mobile connections rely on cell towers for internet access. When you are in an area that is distant from cell towers, the internet coverage will be patchy, resulting in an unstable internet connection.
Is it an effective alternative to broadband, optical fibre connections?
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Satellite internet can provide Internet speeds of up to 100 Mbps, which is sufficient for various tasks and activities involving video streaming, social media, and conference calling. Despite functioning over-the-air, the connection stability during rain or cloudy situations remains mostly uninterrupted (although you may experience speed drops) – this depends mostly on the size of your satellite dish; the larger the dish, the better the connection stability.
The absence of large networks of cables, radio towers and other communication infrastructure in the application of satellite internet makes it one of the best alternatives to enable access to the Internet in rural areas.
This will allow for the implementation of digital technologies in rural areas as well, upgrading existing businesses to equip themselves with smart, integrated, connected technologies. This will provide plenty of opportunities for rural businesses and consumers to participate in the digital economy, enabling them to experience and leverage on the advantages digital technology provides.
*Featured image sourced from www.ict-pulse.com