ARE you tired of the sluggish Wi-Fi speeds offered by mainstream internet service providers?
Well, there’s some ‘stellar’ alternatives that households can try that can be up to four times faster than their ‘normal’ internet.
Satellite broadband is a promising alternative to getting internet in your home – especially if mainstream providers are letting you down.
“Because it doesn’t rely on a network of cables going into every home, it’s expected to become a favourable option for people living in rural areas in the years to come,” USwitch explains.
“Just like satellite TV, it’s beamed all the way from a telecoms satellite in space to a satellite dish installed on your property.
“It then gets hooked up to a Wi-Fi router just like normal broadband.”
While mainstream providers are trying to roll out full-fibre internet to all corners of the UK by the end of the decade – many rural households are still feeling left out.
Full fibre can be difficult and expensive to install in some of these locations, which is “where satellite broadband could help,” according to Uswitch.
With satellite internet, households get Wi-Fi beamed from low-Earth orbit straight to a personal satellite dish.
Fed up villagers have already flocked to Musk’s satellite internet service because of sluggish speeds from traditional broadband providers.
“While a small number of UK households already use some form of satellite broadband, new upgrades to the technology are set to make satellite internet a much faster and more reliable option than it previously was,” adds USwitch.
“Notably, companies like SpaceX and Eutelsat OneWeb are leading the charge, with satellites that can provide internet speeds of up to 300Mbps.
“That’s much faster than the UK average speed, which currently stands at 69Mbps.
“To put this into perspective, you could use satellite broadband to download a two-hour HD film in around four and a half minutes, but it would take roughly 17 minutes with a speed of 69Mbps.”
There are quite a few satellite internet providers to choose from, but as Uswitch explains, its only Starlink and OneWeb that offer speeds of above 10Mbps.
This is because Starlink and OneWeb tech is a lot newer and faster than previous satellite broadband providers.
Starlink has been accessible in the UK since 2021, with coverage extending across nearly the entire country, except for the northernmost parts of Scotland.
In mid-January, BT reportedly tabled plans to work with Elon Musk’s Starlink to tackle rural areas with poor broadband connection.
The telecoms giant, which owns EE, is reportedly testing Starlink satellite-connected equipment at its research centre Adastral Park, Ipswitch.
Musk’s company operates a network of roughly 5,300 satellites and has plans to add around 7,500 more by the end of 2027 – a feat that has troubled a number of scientists and astronomers.
What does Starlink offer?
Hundreds of tests conducted by ThinkBroadband between March 2022 and August 2022 across Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and England revealed:
- Average download speed: 106.1Mbps
- Average upload speed: 9.72Mbps
During this period, maximum speeds reached 293Mbps for downloads and 33Mbps for uploads, while the minimum recorded speeds were 2.5Mbps for downloads and 1.2Mbps for uploads.
Starlink offers different packages for homes, businesses and on-the-go broadband.
And it has a hardware rental service that resembles Sky’s.
The package that’s best for households costs £75 per month.
OneWeb is a UK subsidiary of Eutelsat, a French satellite operator based in Paris.
The company emerged as the UK’s leading satellite broadband provider in the 2010s, and was long-considered one of the UK’s ‘tech darlings’.
However, after collapsing in early 2020, it had to restart its operations as part of Eutelsat.
So far it has launched around 634 satellites into low Earth orbit and provides internet to 37 countries.
What does OneWeb offer?
OneWeb currently partners with other companies to provide its satellite broadband, such as BT, Brdy, Clarus Networks, AST and Airbus.
Each company will offer its own pricing.
However, Brdy offers satellite internet packages for £29.90 per month.
- Average download speeds: 25-150Mbps
- Average upload speed: 6Mbps
If those don’t take your fancy, here’s a list of other satellite internet companies to look into: