Satellite As a Main Telecommunications Transport Medium
Satellite is a very popular and established method of transmitting information. The transference is made possible by what is commonly referred to as an uplink or transmission of information from some point on the earth to a satellite hovering in space. That information is then re-transmitted, or down linked from the satellite back to earth. This uplink and downlink transference of information happens within fractions of a second. Special receiving antennas known as satellite dishes receive the information on the downlink. That information is then interpreted by a device known as a receiver. The receiver processes the information so that it is understandable by your television set, telephone or computer. Since the information is transmitted from space, there is an extremely wide coverage area. Geographically speaking, one or two satellites can cover the entire United States. This allows the service area and potential customer base for the Service Provider to be quite large.
Advantages--Satellite doesn't require utility construction, or cabling which is fastened to utility poles or trenched in underground along roadways and easements. This eliminates the reasons for outages that HFC or Fiber Optic systems can experience. The equipment count utilized for the transport of signals is relatively few, as compared to other types of signal transmission. This fact alone adds to the reliability of the service, with fewer interruptions and contributes to the extremely good TV picture quality. Satellite service is optimal for rural areas where other forms of communications may not be available. Satellite service is also readily available in urban areas.
Disadvantages--Outages or discontinuance of service can occur. The ones caused by Mother Nature can be from what is termed as a sun outage, or sun fade. Other causes can be from snow buildup on receiving dishes. Sometimes the Service Provider will move or relocate certain satellites to improve service or expand their coverage areas. In these instances the consumer can experience an outage ranging from a few hours or possibly longer depending upon what step(s) need to be taken to regain service. Until recently, internet and phone service was not widely available to satellite customers. They would have to contract with a secondary provider for those services. High speed internet is now available in certain markets via satellite. Phone service is available via a satellite phone. At present, these services can be expensive when compared to the same services of other mediums. Many satellite services do not offer telephone as a bundled option. With satellite, each television set in the home must have its own receiver and multiple receivers can constitute additional monthly fees.
Like all forms of telecommunications, technologically speaking, satellite has come a long way. It is a great and reliable source for broadband services But like all services, certain bundled options and choices may not be available in all areas.