The Scottish Government makes a point in its goals for the Digital Scotland (DSSB) rollout that there will always be some areas for which provision of terrestrial broadband is impractical and that the fallback for those areas will include satellite-based broadband.
Unfortunately, there is a heavy dose of wishful thinking here: without direct public intervention, commercial operators cannot be guaranteed to provide a reliable and consistent service. This is borne out by experience in practice.
Continue reading Market Failure in Satellite Internet Provision
For weeks now, we’ve been seeing very poor subjective performance from Tooway’s satellite service. When measured, we’re seeing a large discrepancy between what Tooway’s own speed tester shows and what we get from decent speed checkers such as Speedof.me.
Continue reading Double Standards
This week’s been a pretty poor one so far for the Tooway system: we started with a major and complete outage over much of the weekend, with of course no status information available from them or from Avonline. Continue reading Lies, Damned Lies and ISP Statistics
For the last few months, we’ve been running a trial of Avonline’s Tooway satellite-based broadband service, on behalf of the local Broadband Advisory Group. My report on the delivery and effectiveness of that solution to date is attached, here.
Continue reading Avonline Satellite Broadband Update
Satellite broadband services can locally provide stop-gap solutions pending the roll-out of the Community Broadband Scotland and Step Change 2015 projects. They can also provide in-fill coverage to properties that may remain beyond the cost-effective reach of current or forthcoming terrestrial solutions.
A pilot installation of Eutelsat’s Tooway Ka band satellite broadband service, provided by Avonline, a Tooway reseller, has been operating in Balquhidder since September 2013.
Note: this should be read in conjunction with this later article, describing, from experience, the basic failings with the commercial model of satellite internet provision.
Continue reading Satellite Broadband Services
Tooway have issued a statement on their support blog about actual bandwidth versus the ‘headline’ claims of 20Mbpb/6Mbps throughput. You can read it here.
This is all entirely unsurprising, given the basic economics of satellite communications.
Continue reading Claim and Reality
Right since I started using Tooway, my monitoring device (a RIPE Atlas monitor) has been recording periods of packet loss on the Tooway network. I’ve raised this several times with Avonline’s technical support but never received a meaningful answer, or indeed one that demonstrates that they understand the issues. Periods of packet loss do not appear to correlate with heavy precipitation.
So, until proven otherwise, we have to assume that this is an inherent property of their service. So what does that mean?
Continue reading Continuing Packet Loss
The Avonline-supplied satellite modem continues to prove slightly flaky: an apparent near-complete lack of throughput this morning was traced to the modem’s proxy service reporting itself to be low on memory. A reboot of the modem cleared that, at least, but this does seem to be a recurring problem.
Continue reading Modem Problem Today
Avonline have supplied their “Absolute” package, which was the introductory Tooway package. It provides – in principle – unlimited usage, subject to their Fair Access Policy (FAP). What that effectively means is that, if you go over 60GB (that’s what I was told – the FAP now says 50GB) usage in a rolling 30 day period, you are subject to throttling of your download and upload speeds until the peaks of high usage ‘fall off’ the rolling calendar. That throttling applies between 0700 and 2300 every day, but even data usage outwith those times count towards the calculation. Continue reading Traffic Shaping
Continuing from last month’s update on attempts to bring the communications available to the three villages area into roughly the same century as the outside world, there’s a little good news and a whole lot of no news: Firstly, with BT awarded government funding under the Step Change 2015 programme to bring a minimum of 2Mb/s to 80% of the rural population, they have announced that they can deliver that level to 93.5% of us. That, whilst it would help a number of the “no-band” areas in the Trossachs, is unlikely make much difference in our area. The way in which BT will deliver this is also unlikely to be future proof in the local area and will deliver a maximum performance that falls far short of current ‘normal’ broadband, let alone the capacity that that online services are starting to assume as normal and for which they are designing their next generation of services. In effect, if you’re not a urban dweller with fibre cables in your street, you effectively become classed as the ‘rural poor’ and, by definition, don’t matter.
Continue reading Glacial Progress…