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Old 03-09-2013, 03:41 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Tooway Satellite Broadband

I've just got satellite broadband and i'd like to share a bit about it with you.

My adsl round here in rural Lincolnshire, UK is very poor, 2mb on a good day. Due to the small number of lines our exchange serves, this would never be upgraded to faster Internet.

So I looked in to satellite broadband, specifically Tooway. Tooway is a service that serves Europe from the KA-SAT satellite launched in 2011. I've had it for about a week and i'm very impressed. I chose to self-install and it was very straight forward. If you're handy with the spanners i'd recommend doing this as it will save you 100-150. Your chosen supplier will provide everything you need to install the system, dish, wall bracket, coax cable, cable clips and the modem. I used the KA-Sat finder iphone app to roughly locate the satellite and choose the location of the dish. (I chose to go with Bentley Walker).

A quick call to your supplier activates the system and you're good to go. That's it. I'm on the unlimited package which offers download speed of 20mb and upload of 6mb. The real speeds I get are between 20-22mb download and about 5.5mb upload.

Before ordering, I read the horror stories about it taking an age to display a page bit it's really not that noticeable. There is a slight delay as you'd expect but nothing to complain about. The incredible download speed more than makes up for that. You get a UK IP address so there are no issues with using iplayer or Sky On Demand services.

If you're thinking about wanting fast Internet but like me, you know this will never happen by traditional means, I definately recommend Tooway as an alternative. Of course the only downside is the latency which makes online gaming unsuitable. It's about 750-800ms. VOIP and FaceTime and the like function well, with only a small delay at the other end.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:59 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tooway Satellite Broadband

How do the prices compare to other providers?

Here in the US, satellite internet is very expensive compared to Cable, DSL and Fiberoptic.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhSnapWord View Post
How do the prices compare to other providers?

Here in the US, satellite internet is very expensive compared to Cable, DSL and Fiberoptic.
It is fairly expensive for the unlimited plan that I'm on, however there are cheaper plans available but with usage restrictions. One thing to remember though, with sat broadband no landline is required so you could cancel your phone service to offset the higher costs of the satellite service.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tooway Satellite Broadband

I also live in a rural area in the USA where we can't get dsl or cable. I tried Hughes satellite a few years back. When I first got it, only the download link was via satellite, the upload link was via 56K modem. After a couple of years things improved and both down and up links were via satellite.

My experience was similar to yours in that the delay between each click on a web link wasn't too hard to deal with (although a little annoying) since the download speeds made up for it. In my case, the ping times were terrible so on-line gaming was impossible. How are the ping times on your system?

The killer for me was what they called FAP (Fair Access Policy) where they had an algorithm that decided if you were using too much data in too short of a time and, if so, would clamp your bandwidth down to less than 56K modem speeds. It would keep it like that until sufficient time passed and then would slowly open your bandwidth back up. That was just plain annoying as it always seemed to happen just when I needed to download something.

I now have a wireless connection that peaks at 1.5M down/up that costs $90/month. It's not as fast as I could get from satellite although it costs about the same. I have unlimited data and good ping times so I'm relatively happy. My ISP says they will be bringing out a new service in 18 months where we will be able to get as high as 100M bandwidth.

I have considered going back to satellite but probably won't since my previous experience wasn't the best.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:33 AM   #5
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Yeah ping makes it no good for online games but I'm not too bothered about that. FAP applies to Tooway too, although I'm not sure if it does on the unlimited package though. I guess I'll find out!

Like you say, satellite broadband is not the ideal solution, but it's one of the only ones if you're rural.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:33 AM   #6
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Just an update on this, FAP does not apply to the unlimited package. I've used in excess of 100Gb last month without any issues.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tooway Satellite Broadband

That's great. Since you've had your satellite system for about a month now, how do you like it overall? Would you recommend it to others?
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