While in theory all the UK by 2015 should have access to a 2 Mbps service via the BDUK projects, what is not clear yet is how reliant local authorities will be on services like satellite broadband to fill the hardest to reach areas. It is this doubt and lack of information driving many communities to resource their own solutions.
Tooway is one of the better known names in the satellite broadband market is revamping its product range, with new products costing £20 to £75 and usage allowances ranging from 2GB right up to unlimited. The change in the policy on usage over shadows a further speed tweak that sees download speeds raised to 20 Mbps, with 6 Mbps remaining for the upload.
|Tooway S||Tooway M||Tooway L||Tooway XL||Tooway Absolute|
|Max Downlink||2 Mbps||20 Mbps||20 Mbps||20 Mbps||20 Mbps|
|Max Uplink||1 Mbps||6 Mbps||6 Mbps||6 Mbps||6 Mbps|
|Usage allowance||2 GB||10GB||20 GB||30GB||Unlimited|
|Overnight allowance 11pm to 7am||n/a||n/a||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Monthly Equipment Rental RRP||£6||£6||£6||£6||£5|
In the past, understanding what speed you would get from a satellite based service was complex and all too often it was impossible to tell if a slow speed was because of your usage level or a general performance problem. If Eutelsat with its Tooway products is able to sustain the new usage levels and price points while offering a reasonable quality of service, then those in the hardest to reach parts of the UK may be a little less upset if their only option for faster broadband is satellite based.
With some of the local authority broadband projects looking beyond the 2015 targets, it may be will see a rise in the use of satellite services until 2016-2017 when the next stage of some projects starts to push fixed line services that fingers crossed are fully fibre based deeper into rural areas. The use of satellite services as a temporary solution may be seen as the preferable method to using range extenders on ADSL services, which can prove costly for each line served or just to cover the time until 4G services arrive in the area.