The communications regulator, Ofcom has published a new report that investigated the quality of experience and user satisfaction when using broadband Satellite ISP services for applications such as online video gaming (multiplayer), Virtual Private Networks (VPN), video/audio streaming and Voice-over-IP (VoIP).
It will come as little surprise to those familiar with the technology that Satellite came out “better than a standard ADSL link” for basic website browsing but was rated “significantly worse than a terrestrial broadband system” for remote desktop/VPN, VoIP and online gaming. Surprisingly it did better than expected for video streaming applications, although those would still be hindered by low usage allowances and throttling.
Although three out of four applications indicated that terrestrial broadband was superior to satellite broadband, it is important to bear in mind that the one application (web browsing), where the satellite service outperformed the terrestrial service, is likely to be the most fundamental online activity.
As expected the caching methods and inherently high latency problems of Satellite links make the service ineffective for use in multiplayer gaming and other real time applications.
However in rural locations satellite broadband may be a feasible option for those whos main activity is web browsing and emails.