Things To Know About Satellite Satellite
Chances are, if you live in a developed part of the world, you probably have never heard of satellite internet. In fact, you probably most likely access the Internet through cable, DSL, or mobile networks. But in many areas where DSL or cable internet is not available, the only rural internet alternative is satellite internet.
Satellite internet works just like it sounds: in areas where DSL and cable internet are not available, companies like HughesNet and Exede Internet provide residents with internet access using a series of small satellites orbiting just a few hundred miles above the earth’s atmosphere. It’s an exciting new development in the evolution of the Internet that has billionaires like Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg clamoring to fill Earth’s orbit with their own satellites.
Why Is Satellite Internet So Bad?
But in spite of the big plans set in motion for satellite internet, most satellite internet providers find themselves trailing more traditional landline providers in terms of speed and affordability.
Because signals between devices and satellites must literally travel hundreds and hundreds of miles before arriving at either destination, satellite internet tends to experience a significantly greater lag than either DSL or cable – especially if you are trying to stream video or accomplish other tasks that take up a lot of satellite broadband.
And because satellite internet requires the actual launching of small satellites into Earth’s orbit, it tends to be a much more expensive alternative to other forms of high speed internet, ones that simply require plugging into an already existing grid. Furthermore, as there are currently few of these satellite orbiting the earth, residents in some parts of the world do not have access to unlimited satellite internet; some areas are simply spotty, as though they were dead spots in a cellular phone network.
Why Satellite Internet Is So Good
Yes, in terms of internet comparison, satellite internet is much slower than its landline counterpart; however, in a state of emergency, satellite internet can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. While satellite internet is still largely in its development stage, many emergency circumstances – particularly ones where major communications channels have been wiped out – will ultimately rely upon it, as satellite internet can be far more successful than even high speed internet at getting the message across when all other channels are lost.
In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, satellite internet providers are now working hard to provide those affected by or attempting to thwart terrorist activity with a safety net of communication in the event of a communications systems failure. Providers are working on all fronts: domestically, to protect American citizens from possible communication loss, and abroad, to help innocent civilians in unstable countries.
In the days following the devastating series of attacks in Paris, both hospitals and first responders on the eastern coast of the United States are implementing additional security measures to prepare for the worst. But their preparations involve more than just making sure they have enough room and supplies to service the injured, or having enough manpower to rescue people in potential wreckage situations; one of the greatest needs they’re addressing has to do with communication.
Hospitals like Riverside Hospital in Virginia have taken steps to ensure there are no holes in emergency communication. In addition to dedicated radio and web services, Riverside is invested heavily in a mobile command center, complete with VHF and UHF radio, HAM radio, cable internet, cellular internet, and in case of dire straits, satellite radio.However, the fight against terrorism, while it may end within our borders, starts overseas. Many of the victims of these terrorist organizations are their fellow countrymen, and have just as much need to stay in touch with loved ones in the event of attacks that cut off communication. As it stands, a significant portion of the world’s population lacks the ability connect with the rest of the world online. And as immediacy in the news has become absolutely crucial, providing access to these underserved populations is extremely important.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is hoping to close that gap by bringing the next billion people online, both through partnerships with mobile providers, as well as through satellite internet services. Facebook’s efforts involve more than just giving a voice to people in unstable countries, but it’s providing a forum for those affected by natural disasters to communicate and check the status of their loved ones. In parts of the world where traditional internet is not available, satellite internet can literally save lives.
2. Disaster Relief
Speaking of natural disasters, satellite internet can not only help people maintain contact during or immediately after an earthquake, hurricane, or tsunami, but it can also be the means or providing additional aid to help people recover from these disasters.Back in 2010, Haiti experienced a devastating earthquake. And while important drugs and medical supplies were shipped to local trauma centers within days of the earthquake, these trauma centers were drastically understaffed. But thanks to a couple of donated satellites, medical personal at Haitian trauma centers were able to communicate and consult with corresponding trauma recovery teams in Miami (some 700 miles away) by means of a satellite internet connection.This form of communication, known as telemedicine, has become one of the most effective ways of providing countries in need with immediate and interactive medical support. It’s a process already being widely used in the United States and has been shown to improve medical diagnoses, speak up treatment, and even lower the cost of healthcare in other countries.
3. Environmental Monitoring
As satellite internet technology continues to improve, companies are looking to create specialized sensors that connect to a satellite broadband, thus providing a connection on the ground that will never go down. This can be used in the military to keep an eye on the location of military vehicles and personnel, and by commercial shippers to track the route of shipping containers. But satellite internet can save more than just human lives.One innovative application of satellite internet technology is environmental monitoring. By using disposable, lower-powered sensors, customers could pay a subscription fee and gain access to an increasingly growing satellite network, and track all sorts of things. Developers believe these sensors could be used to track the location and spread of oil spills, and give first responders minute-by-minute