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People using satellite broadband

Businesses and households in almost any location can take advantage of satellite broadband services, it has been claimed.

Jack Schofield, Computer Editor at the Guardian, explained that almost all properties - even in the remotest of locations - can use satellite to access high-speed downloads.

All they need is the necessary equipment - including a dish and modem - and a clear view to the south, he noted.

Mr Schofield conceded that satellite broadband is relatively expensive compared to fixed services, but it can reach areas not served by landlines or even 3G mobile services.

"You can get satellite broadband almost anywhere," he added.

The expert noted that the main drawbacks with satellite broadband are contention and latency.

"Contention comes from the fact that thousands of people may be trying to access the satellite 'doorway'," he stated. "If there are more requests for data than the satellite can handle, some users have to wait."

Mr Schofield explained that latency comes from the fact the signal has to travel about 36,000km up to the geostationary satellite, and 36,000km down to the broadband provider's server.

"It makes satellite broadband unsuitable for fast-action games, but isn't a problem with most web pages," he added.

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