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Satellite Internet Access and 4G; Is There Single Right Choice?

Satellite Internet Access and 4G; Is There Single Right Choice?


Telecommunications and Internet access remain dominated by what was British Telecommunications which was previously the Post Office. There are good reasons for this; as a business they invested heavily in constructing the network, running cables and building exchanges throughout the UK. This was a monopoly and while I am sure they would deny it in many was it still is; there simply is no imperative to build a parallel or replacement network alongside that which exists. Quite the opposite in fact, as in fairness the BT network is well engineered and for the most part is well supported and works well.

Some exceptions exist of course, there is dark fibre laid in and between major conurbations but outside of the major metropolitan areas there is little genuine competition to BT. Lip service is paid with competing organisations allowed to place and run their own equipment in BT exchanges; however it is the case that for the vast majority of us the so called “last mile” between us, the user and the exchange is owned and operated by BT. This in turn means we are vulnerable to loss of service due to physical break in the lines by roadworks, flooding, fire in the exchange or even under the pavement and to overcome this we need an alternative that delivers service from outside of the BT network. In addition, there are and always will be isolated place that will never have lines laid to them and would be prohibitively expensive to lay one.

Another issue is service level; there is an SLA on lease lines, but these come with a price tag fitting a business quality service so if you lose even a business standard broadband line you could be down for 14 days and lease lines are still vulnerable to fire, flood etc.

So how do we get Internet access independent of the BT network and exchanges? There are 2 solutions being 4G or satellite broadband; whilst cheaper than they were both are and always will be more expensive that terrestrial services. You need to decide which meets you needs based on speed and volume of data required. 4G service is not uniform across the land so you will need to test which network delivers the fastest service at your location and you will need a suitable router equipped with a data SIM for the most available network at your location. Satellite, whilst restricted is a reliably uniform bandwidth and to receive it you will need a dish firmly installed on a South facing wall aligned to the chosen satellite.

We would counsel that the 4G or satellite contract will cap data use on a per month basis with warnings about data use and significant charges should you exceed the monthly data allowances.

Overall then there are ways of getting Internet access without touching the BT network and Wizards can help you access these based on your real needs.

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