[LINK] Europe to get new broadband satellite(s)

Jan Whitaker jwhit at melbpc.org.au
Sun Nov 28 10:27:05 AEDT 2010

At 09:59 AM 28/11/2010, Richard Chirgwin you wrote:
> > Perhaps this is part of the hidden information in
> > the business plan. Mustn't scare the rural horses, so to speak.
> >
> > Jan
>Aren't you being a bit harsh here? Satellite for the last couple of
>percent has been in the NBN planning since pretty much the day it was
>announced. And what are they not being truthful about? - Since the
>satellite hasn't been designed yet, I presume its coverage and
>transponders would be designed for the service it's meant to deliver.

No, I don't think I'm being harsh because of the sort of information 
that is being sold to the whole public at the moment. I believe 
Fernando makes a good point. There are Quality of Service aspects to 
the satellite delivery that hasn't been part of the general 
discussion. If you were in Woop Woop and expect to have equivalent 
service via satellite, even if you think at a slower speed, then you 
may be disappointed by the lag. (think the delay effects of the voice 
services we put up with; it's part of the physics of distance) We've 
had that discussion in the past on link, I think, when discussing 
rural access to broadband at all in terms of wifi. It's not going to 
get you the same QoS as fibre. Neither will satellite, and I don't 
think that has been exposed. I wonder if Bob Katter gets that. I doubt it.

Is it a best option to have satellite? If the bottom line is to 
provide some service, then yes. At any cost? I don't know. The 
overheads are higher. The cost per person served is higher. Just like 
shared HFC has usage contention issues, so will satellite. How many 
'dark' transponders do you include to cater for demand growth? Are 
there other applications of a satellite service that could be sold 
off (tv perhaps?) to spread the cost? Spare capacity as a revenue 
source? Back-up for large government data movement doesn't require 
realtime interaction?

>BTW, I don't think a Northern Hemisphere satellite aimed at Europe has
>much to offer to Australia. The Euro satellite probably wouldn't be able
>to *see* Australia, let alone whether there would somehow be spare
>capacity for coverage here.

You're right, that satellite wouldn't. I didn't say a Northern 
Hemisphere satellite or spare capacity on one would be used. Perhaps 
I wasn't clear enough. With discussion of a new satellite for our 
remote data services, we shouldn't invest in a space program to put 
one up (something I got a whiff of in a story somewhere this week), 
but we should be looking at satellite providers who build and launch 
broadband services satellites as is being done in Europe. It's not 
just a matter of the end user access, but also the point of entry 
into the ground based network.

I do understand the coverage differences in satellites. I used to 
manage a campus satellite access service in the US. Heck, I've even 
rented remote uplink vans and produced remote TV programs distributed 
via satellite.

BTW, on Insiders this morning, Andrew Bolt mentioned that Hong Kong 
is putting up a broadband delivery satellite, and argued we should be 
doing that instead of fibre!. So the concept is out there.


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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