Everywhere! Broadband claims it will shortly be launching a broadband-by-satellite service in the UK (via Eutelsat) which will give consumers unable to get broadband via ADSL or cable access to download speeds of 1Mb/sec for £19.95 a month. SatDrive (also a Eutelsat partner) is already offering a similar deal for £14.99 a month. Alas, it isn’t quite as good as it seems:
- Charges don’t include the cost of your telephone, which will have to be connected as long as you are doing any “active surfing” (you can disconnect once you have requested a big download, however, and you will be notified of new email without needing to dial up).
- Files will arrive very quickly, but I am told that at least with existing satellite services there is often an annoying delay before any given file starts to be downloaded (this is because of the distance between you and the satellite). This also makes satellite Internet pretty hopeless for online gaming.
- In the case of Satdrive at least (for Everywhere it is not clear) the bandwidth on offer is shared, so if others on the same service are downloading large files your own download speeds may drop.
- Everywhere! installation costs “from £99”, and Satdrive’s installation costs £399+ (unless you already have the equipment).
Last but not least, one has to wonder how they can afford to offer this service for such low prices. But this is still unquestionably good news…