Monday 12 July 2010

Next Generation Satellite Broadband Service

It is hard to visualize the day when end-to-end terrestrial broadband (high speed Internet) service such as DSL,cable, cellular wireless, fixed wireless or hybrids thereof will be a available to all users in Canada. A small percentage of users will always be served by ISPs using a satellite link as part of the network even if the final connection to the user is terrestrial.

Satellite based broadband (high speed Internet) connectivity does not have a very good reputation amongst users and this is putting it mildly. Over subscription, inconsistent data transfer rates, high latency, atmospheric  and weather interference, inability to handle VPNs are just some of the technical complaints while the initial cost of set-up, one-time hardware costs and monthly recurring costs are some of the financial issues often cited. 

Like cellular telephone, satellite services have gone through a number of “generations”. The new services expected to be on-line in 2011 have the potential to address many of current issues. 

More information about the next generation of satellites can be found at: 

The video portion of the site is also available on YouTube:

3G HSPA Broadband Pricing and Capacity - Revised

I am frequently asked about the 3G HSPA Broadband (high speed Internet). service currently offered along Hwy 17 from Sault Ste Marie to Sudbury and which will be offered along the Hwy 17 Sault Ste Marie to Thunder Bay corridor by the end of 2011. 
The following collection of public links and information is provided as examples of services obtainable. ADnet neither endorses nor receives compensation from any of the vendors identified. It is considered accurate at the time of posting but is subject to change at the whim of the vendor or a CRTC ruling.
3G HSPA technology uses the cellular network as the medium to deliver Broadband (high speed Internet). It is an order of magnitude improvement over the previous 2.5G technology. The service is available as a standalone data package or bundled with other vendor offerings. It provides a nominal download speed of 7 Mbps at the cell site but degrades the farther the user is from the cell site. At about 5 km, the data rate is approximately 1 Mbps. The user receives the service via a hardware USB data stick or a wireless/Ethernet data hub. A nice feature of the data stick approach is its portability, a feature the frequent traveller will appreciate.
The main drawback with the 3G HSPA system is that it can become very expensive if care is not taken to monitor downloads to ensure the cap is not exceeded.  There are a number of software programs available that monitor data usage and can be set up to warn you when certain data levels are reached.
3G HSPA Access Hardware
Bell Turbo Hub – HSPA Data Service
Bell Data stick – HSPA Data
Bell pricing for Data plans (the voice add-on is a version of VoIP not cellular)
Rogers Turbo Hub – HSPA Data Service
Tbaytel Data Hub _ HSPA Data Service

Data CapBell RogersTbaytel
Flex RatePer GBFlex RatePer GBFlex Rate Per GB 
3 GB
5 GB
$ 55.00
10 GB 
15 GB


20 GB 


Bell and Rogers Data Compared based on Bell's Deferral Account Submission and Rogers Data Calculator
Sample Traffic Bell Rogers
50,000 E-mails 2 GB 1.2 GB
4,000 E-mails with large attachments 2 GB 1.31 GB
20,000 Web pages 2 GB 4.75 GB