Satellite broadband has been an option for broadband in the remotest parts of the UK for some years, the relatively recent launches of Ka Band services has improved the speeds and contention levels compared to the older services.
Tooway are convinced their service which others a multitude of speeds, usage allowances and contention ratios can fix the broadband not-spots and slow-spots across the UK. Though its claim that there "need be no exclusions to broadband access", should be qualified as approval for a two way satellite service site is required by Ofcom, to ensure that the uplink does not cause problems to airfields, radar installations and other services.
The offer as it stands is that if councils can identify the 20 toughest locations across the UK, the firm will provide a free service to a local community for 2012. Packages currently start at £24.99 a month for a 6 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up and 8 GB monthly data allowance (reduces to 4GB in June 2012), rising to £599.99 a month for a symmetrical 4 Mbps service which is sold as unlimited. The unlimited products tooway sell use a sliding time windows to manage usage, with usage that triggers the fair usage policy seeing traffic slowed down. We have reproduced the fair usage details for their £54.99 consumer service below.
Our Winter 'UNLIMITED' offer relates to the relaxing of our Fair Access Policy to give the first 5,000 new Tooway 10 and 10+users (who are signed up between now and the end of May 2012) a much more generous data allowance.
Specifically this means that a new Tooway 10 service, between your installation/activation date and 31st May 2014:-
- The standard Tooway 10 - 1 hour Sliding Time Window FAP level will be doubled to 3 GB per hour before the service starts to throttle you to 2048/512 kbps (still true broadband speeds)
- The interim 1 day and 1 week Sliding Time Window FAP levels are not being applied at all, these are UNLIMITED
- If you download/upload more than the standard Tooway 10 - 4 weekly data allowance of 13 GB, instead of being throttled to sub-broadband speeds of 64/16 kbps, your service will continue unlimited but at a broadband peak speed of 1024/256 kbps
- Between 11.00 PM and 2.00 PM UT, the 4 week Sliding Time Window will ONLY be enforced if you exceed TWICE the promotional data allowance. (For clarity this means that between 2.00 PM and 11.00 PM UT, only the 1 hour and 4 week FAP thresholds will be enforced).
In addition to this, new subscribers who sign up to this limited time offer will received DOUBLE the standard Tooway 10 data allowance from 1st March 2014 for the life of their contract.Unlimited on the most popular £54.99 tooway 10 product
For the hardest places to reach in the UK, where even fixed wireless services are economically challenging, satellite services are a solution, but with the BDUK projects underway, it would be very dissapointing if local authorities were to consign hundreds of properties in each local authority area to having a satellite service as their likely broadband solution for the next five to eight years.
The current satellite services are a lot better than those from years gone by, but the complex usage allowances and contention mean that while video services and basic interactivity are possible, it is often at a lot lower speed than the headline speeds if extensive use is made of the connection, and the monthly fees are well above the UK average for the usage offered.