Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Is Satellite Internet A Solution For Remote And Isolated Areas?

The government surely thinks so. In February 2009, the United States Congress voted in favor of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Also known as "the Stimulus Act", the bill was intended to create jobs and help with the fiscal boost during the economic crisis. A considerable portion of the funds made available by the bill targeted the development of the national technological infrastructure, including satellite internet subventions for rural areas. In fact, for some isolated areas, satellite internet is the only available solution for the ones that wish to gain access to such services. For this purpose, the government allocated $63 million to bring internet access to residences, businesses, and other rural zones.

The main purpose of this consistent investment is the global development of online businesses. Many home businesses can advertise their services and even sell their products over the internet. However, many such home businesses have no access to internet. The government voted "the Stimulus Act", to help such businesses gain access to internet without a major investment from the beneficiary.

The most accessible solution for internet access distribution in rural areas is satellite internet. There are multiple providers that can offer satellite internet solution. However, the government decided to include only some of them into their "Stimulus Act". The Government Satellite Internet Program from HughesNet & Wildblue / Exede already served multiple rural services, connecting isolated location to the internet. All eligible families can get the standard installation for free. The equipment comes also at no cost and the monthly fees have a reduced rate. The eligibility of a client is decided under strict governmental guidance.

Technically, the government is actually investing in the expansion of internet services to rural areas while covering all the costs involved.

The government seems to have chosen companies like Wildblue / Exede & HughesNet for some obvious reasons. Their rates are lower than its competitors. The speed of the satellite internet provided is around 50 times faster than a dial-up connection, reaching speeds of up to 1.0 Mpbs. In terms of availability, satellite internet can be used anywhere, regardless of location, altitude or how far away the nearest town is. The satellite dish can also be moved or relocated without losing access to the internet. Once the modem is linked to the dish and connected to the computer, internet access is instant. There are no passwords required or complicated software. The user can access internet as soon as the computer boots up.

Since the program was started, almost three years ago, multiple government schools gained access to internet to improved education in that particular area. Hospitals, libraries, academic institutions, businesses, public and private agencies and many others received governmental funding to gain access to internet. Most of the beneficiaries were located in states such as Arizona, California, Vermont, Colorado, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Idaho, Texas, Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, Utah and many others.

Both Wildblue / Exede and HughesNet have played an important role in spreading government funded satellite internet. In over 13 years since they started distributing satellite solutions, more than 1.5 systems have been deployed in more than 100 countries. Their experience made them a perfect candidate for the governmental plan for internet distribution in rural areas.

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