Satellite Internet Access

In some parts of Britain, it is still not possible to get fixed line broadband access technologies such as ADSL or fibre at speeds required by business. Even major cities can feature ‘not spots’ where for technical reasons the coverage is poor. Government plans to improve the roll-out of basic broadband into rural areas will only deliver relatively low speeds of around 2 Mbps, not enough for business cloud applications or indeed watching online high-definition TV.

For those without adequate access there is, however, a well-established solution – satellite Internet access. There is no need to lay cable, or possess a telephone line, and it’s available everywhere in the UK, even in the most remote locations. Satellite access is not just for situations where terrestrial service is poor; it is also an excellent way to ensure a cost effective, highly reliable backup access option.

Satellite technology has evolved rapidly in recent years, delivering lower costs and a doubling of bandwidth, meaning this is a perfect time to consider this as an alternative access technique.

How it works: Satellite Internet Access

The basic concept of satellite broadband is familiar to anyone who has used satellite TV. It works by using a small dish attached to the roof, or side wall, of a building to send and receive signals to and from an orbiting, geo-stationary satellite, stationed around 22,000 miles above the earth. The signal operates bi-directionally, allowing for both data upload and download. It does not need a telephone line, but the satellite dish does need a clear line of sight to the southern sky (e.g. no other buildings or trees in the way).

The dish’s transceiver sends and receives signals from the satellite, which in turn handles traffic to and from the broadband provider’s own network on earth. The traffic from the dish is routed to the subscriber’s office network via a coaxial cable and specialised modem, which modulates or demodulates the signal into a data bitstream. The modem has an Ethernet connection that plugs into the office router or PC and, from this point, the access appears to the user like any other form of broadband.

activereach uses KA-SAT, the first European satellite designed exclusively for high-speed Internet access. This uses the Ka band of the microwave radio spectrum, a set of frequencies which facilitate higher speeds, and a technique called spot beaming, to deliver an overall total available bandwidth of 90 Gbps.

The long distance between the satellite and the dish means that there can be issues with latency, or round-trip time (RTT), and in the past this has been a significant problem. However, modern satellite Internet access systems can have a range of ingenious hardware and software solutions to mitigate this delay. This means that satellite access can now be used in even the most demanding Internet tasks such as Voice over IP and Virtual Private Networks.


activereach’s Satellite Internet Access solution includes the following features:

  • Fast, affordable broadband delivered to locations where fixed line access is not available.
  • Advice on using satellite as a main broadband backup service and planning for disaster recovery scenarios.
  • Full consultancy, supply, installation and maintenance service, with round-the-clock technical support.
  • Range of download/upload speeds available up to 22 and 6 Mbps.
  • Priority data access for business users to satellite connection during office hours.
  • Range of monthly data quotas to suit all scenarios with unlimited night time data.
  • Multiple static IP addresses.
  • Employs the latest software techniques for minimising round trip delay such as Performance Enhancing Proxy and TCP/IP acceleration.

See our Internet Access page to find out more about the Internet connectivity services available from activereach.