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Happyhorn52

Jack Ma tests internet in Philippines: Not good

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The Australian government should have stuck with the FTTP NBN plan rather than swapping part way through to a mixed mode NBN IMO.

I'm lucky enough to have a good stable ADSL2 connection that syncs at 20Mbit in Australia which is faster than I've gotten when I visit the Philippines and the new VDSL NBN node is only 50 metres from my driveway so it's very likely I'll sync close to 100Mbit when that goes active some time next month but many people are not so lucky.

There are however many households and businesses that are not so lucky, where I worked until 4 months ago (when I retired) is in a declared Ready For Service area but they cannot access the NBN because the nearest VDSL nodes are too far away and my sister's house on the edge of town is in the same situation, the node is too far away and the speeds both locations get are similar to what I've seen in the Philippines.

Edited by GeoffH
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As an ancient luddite I am unclear on the concept of satellite-direct internet access.  We have satellite phone service,  expensive but available, what about satellite internet?  Is this even a thing?  If it is--and inevitably it will be--what sort of hardware would be necessary?

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22 minutes ago, valdemare said:

what about satellite internet?  Is this even a thing?

It was used in northern Canada, (and it was very expensive), back in the early 2000's.  I do not think they still use it much as they were putting in fiber optics when I was working up there more than 10 years ago.  The problem with it, (other than the expense), was that the "uploads" or communication "to" the satellite had to go through the conventional phone line but the download part was very fast. Of course they could have had uploads direct to the satellite (as we did have satellite hand held phones there) but that would have been incredibly expensive.

That is my only experience with satellite Internet.  I have heard stories of people using it in remote Philippine locations but I have also heard it is still very expensive.  I do not personally know anyone in Philippines who is using it.  I did look into it casually when living in a remote area of Philippines but I remember seeing the price tag and did not go any further.  It may be better now, (but I doubt it), as that was about 6 years ago that I was looking.

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On 10/29/2017 at 6:35 PM, valdemare said:

As an ancient luddite I am unclear on the concept of satellite-direct internet access.

 

I live in rural Australia and I have used both 1 way and 2 way satellite connections.

Older satellite internet systems (called 1 way sat) beamed a signal from the satellite to a dish mounted on the house for incoming data (mine was 512 kilobit incoming) and used a modem in the house for outgoing data (either a 33 kilobit dial up modem or a 64 kilobit ISDN modem was used).  This provided quicker than dial up download speeds but slow uploads.  Installs were not that expensive as the dish only needed to receive (like sat TV).

More recent satellite internet systems (called 2 way sat) use the dish for both incoming and outcoming data and they're commonly used for communications in remote areas (not just Australia but also some islands in the Pacific use them) but they tend to be very expensive to access.  Data charges and install costs are high and speed is still slower than VDSL (although much faster than dial up). 

The main issue with satellite connections is what is called high latency, the signal takes a long time to go from your computer through the ground station up to the satellite, down to ground and to the destination.  Programs that need low latency (like games and remote control and some video apps) don't work well with high latency.

The Australian NBN (National Broadband Network) has large geostationary satellites which provide 2 way sat access for business and households in remote areas where people are unable to access other forms of internet and the government provides subsidized installs and reduces access cost by cross subsidizing operating costs by taxing other profitable internet modes on the NBN (about $7 per month per NBN connection I understand).  Currently the nominal speeds on offer are 12Mbit and 25Mbit but data allowances are much lower than other NBN delivery technologies due to the limited data volume handling of the satellites and ground stations.

Outside of this there are fully commercial 2 way satellite internet providers which tend to be used by government departments and commercial organizations where other internet is not available or reliable and the cost tends to be very high.  Some of these providers have 'home' plans with more limited speeds at costs that are somewhat more affordable and a couple of companies in the Phillipines offer this.

I did look at this as an alternative for when I'm over there but ended up just getting a wifi device with an external antenna instead.

One company that offers it if you're interested (and I make no claims as to how well it works) is http://www.philsat.com/bigsky.html

 

 

Edited by GeoffH
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Regarding satellite internet it may soon become more widely available with better performance and lower cost. There are many plans in place by a number of companies to deploy hundreds of low earth orbit small cube sats to create an orbital mesh network. Since the cube sats are in LEO there are no longer any problems with latency and the power to transmit to the satellite is greatly reduced.

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5 minutes ago, earthdome said:

Regarding satellite internet it may soon become more widely available with better performance and lower cost. There are many plans in place by a number of companies to deploy hundreds of low earth orbit small cube sats to create an orbital mesh network. Since the cube sats are in LEO there are no longer any problems with latency and the power to transmit to the satellite is greatly reduced.

 

I'm aware that they've been launched for teaching purposes by universities and for quite some time now by various amateur radio groups and societies around the world and that there were moves to commercialize their use but I'd not heard of that particular application, very interesting.

I haven't had anything personally to do with them but every so often there is an article about cube sats in ARRL magazine as I try (and mostly fail) to stay somewhat up to date with what's happening.

Thank you for the information .

 

Edited by GeoffH
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