Although it was DSL, and later cable internet, that made high-speed internet available to everyone, it was high speed internet satellite service that truly made the technology available to everyone no matter where they lived. Therefore, people living in different parts of Africa, or even places as remote as south pole Antarctica could access the internet with the right equipment.
How satellite works
Fortunately for us, we don’t have to know all the nuts and bolts of satellite technology, but the gist of it is that a number of communication satellite have been placed in geosynchronous orbit high above the earth. Because they remain in the same position, in respect to the earth, they are always available to relay messages.
Earth bound systems, or the devices you get from your satellite internet provider, send signals or queries, to the satellite and the satellite return the requested information. This type of technology has eliminated the need for cables in remote areas—which would not have been feasible in some places anyway. Therefore, for example, researchers working in science stations at the South Pole can feel confident that they always have a link with the outside world.
How to get satellite internet service
Although relatively new for civilian use, today there are about as many satellite internet providers as there are cable and DSL. Therefore, finding a provider in your area is as easy as doing an internet search. However, if you happen to be one of the few people left on earth that does not have internet access yet, then do it the old fashioned way and look in the yellow pages.
If you are already a satellite TV subscriber, then you need look no further. Today, satellite TV providers like Direct TV and Dish Network, also double as satellite internet service providers. The relay box that comes with your TV subscription also doubles as an internet hot spot, providing you with internet access anywhere in the house.
Is satellite internet just as fast as DSL or cable?
With broadband satellite internet service now a reality, people with broadband satellite internet service can now download large files, like video and music files, with the same speeds that DSL and cable deliver. Broadband also means that the quality of the files is unmatched since so many different signals can be carried at the same time.
In addition to being able to deliver speeds and images and video quality comparable or superior to DSL and cable, satellite internet service has a distinct advantage over its wired counterparts: it is unaffected by terrain and can be accessed anywhere. In addition, satellite internet broadband makes it possible for phone communications (VoIP) over internet protocols (IP). So if you have a satellite phone you can access the network from anywhere in the world.
Clearly satellite internet access is the wave of the future. Just as cable made TV antennas obsolete, so, too, will satellite internet systems do to internet services that are tethered by a cable or wire of some form.