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i'm ready for my close up mr demille
I've been looking into satellite internet options in a little more detail, out of curiosity. On the surface, it's not a bad rate; most all the providers offer plans for about $60/mo which is comprable to DSL or cable - the problem is purchasing the equipment. For the first 15 months, you pay $100/mo until the equipment is paid for, then it reverts to the $60/mo for the monthly service. All in all not a bad deal except I don't know if I want to be saddled with a $100/mo. payment for the next year.

So, to help me think about this... pros and cons of satellite internet:

- have broadband internet anywhere in the country, even at my parents' in the sticks of Kentucky and not tied to WiFi hotspots
- long-term monthly charge is comprable to DSL/Cable, if all of a sudden I wasn't driving anymore, I could still utilize it as my internet provider
- flexibility: with the generally unobstructed skyline at your average truckstop, I could park anywhere as opposed to trying to find parking at the one that I have WiFi access with. I could also have access while stuck at a shipper or receiver, or while parked in their docks for the night
- newer dishes are compatible with DirecTV and DishNetwork, adding TV would be a cinch

- initial cost: $100/mo. vs. the current $200 per year for WiFi
- ongoing cost: $60/mo vs $200 per year
- if the equipment breaks, i'm S.O.L. after it's out of warranty (15 months)
- the "unknown" variable: i've never used satellite internet, what if it sucks and i'm stuck in a two year contract?
- Nextel (my current cell phone company) will offer nationwide broadband internet service in a matter of year for about $50/mo
- the satellite receiver and transmitters will take up considerable space in what is already rather cramped quarters

Really the main concern is a monetary one. I could find the space in my truck if I really wanted to do it and most of the providers offer 15 day trial periods where you can change your mind if it's not to your satisfaction. If I'm really afarid of the $100 for the first 15 months I could save up for the cost of equipment and purchase it out-right.

If I wasn't such a cheap bastard, this probably wouldn't be such a hard decision.

Does anyone know anyone who has had satellite internet service? How did they like it?

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A friend of mine is looking into this too. What companies did you research?

well, near as i can tell, Direcway is really the only true company, all of the others I came across were just resellers of Direcway equipment, technology and sateliite stream....

Direcway's website offers an entry level plan that is $49.99 up-front cost with a 15 month service contract. They ship the equipment and have it professionaly installed for you. The cost is $99.99/mo for the first 15 months (which covers $559.99 worth of equipment), after which the cost is $59.99/mo. Most all of the other resellers offer a similar deal with minor differences. The entry level plan offers download speeds of 600K/s. The big turn off for me that I found AFTER I posted my pro's and con's is that Direcway imposes a "Fair Access Policy" (which also applies to all the resellers who resell their feeds). This policy prohibits abuse by the minority on bandwidth. According to this policy, one the entry level plan, if bandwidth climbs above 169M over a 1-4 hour period, throughput is reduced to that user for a period as long as 8-12 hours. For a general surfer and downloader this probably is no big deal, but I like to set up big download queues and let 'em reel me in a Gig of stuff to play with later while I'm sleeping. I guess it just dpeends on your friend's needs. If he/she's a big Usenet/P2P/BitTorrent phreak, it probably won't be suitable to their needs if they have other broadband options at their disposal.

The other big draw back I discovered is the latency problems with satellite. The time it takes for the feed to transmit and receive from the satellite is a lot longer than wired and wireless solutions. If you're friend is an online gamer, the latency is goig to be a big problem and they'll find themselves fragged and not know what hit them :). I suppose other time sensitive things like trading and auction bids could be affected by this as well, otherwise, the latency isn't a huge probelm that I can see.

The only way I see satellite could be a big lure for someone is if they had no other options (live in the sticks, RV-camping in remote areas, etc) or they were interested in reselling the bandwidth (setting up your own personal WiFi spot for an apartmenet/office building, etc). Otherwise, the other wired and wireless options that are out there these days are much more affordable and robust.

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