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Help Needed! Which Satellite System is Best for Broadband in SW France Please?

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Our village in area 31 does not have landline broadband. I am told that the cost of Satellite Broadband has reduced. Is this now the case and does it works consistently.  At first sight the options are confusing. The concern is the investment in time and money for something that may not be reliable.  Can anyone help please?

A recent article said:

 “Tooway  - to build triple-play offers combining Internet access, Voice over IP and IPTV channels” - the IPTV claim in particular being one that Connected TV is sceptical about.

Nevertheless, the price of the Eutelsat service compares advantageously to Astra2Connect’s - if that is, it really does offer 2MBit/s.

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I'm not sure that I'd invest in such a technology nowadays.  Too expensive, too flakey and at only 2Mbit/s too slow and you still need a landline to upload data

Have you thought about something like this


I've been using one of these keys with a Not book (too big for a Netbook, too small for a Notebook) in Luxembourg for about a month now and I get a rock solid 7.2 MBit/s everywhere I go.  It costs me €24.90 per month for unlimited download and I get the Notbook and a 3G key as well thrown in.  In fact its so good I'm considering dropping my other internet connection over the phone line as I can always stick the USB key in the desktop PC.

The salesman warned me that Skype is not so good on the 3G key due to latency problems but in fact I use Skype on it a lot and have no probs at all. I can also stream TV ( BBC iplayer via a UK Proxy) but that can be a bit stop/start due mainly to the download from the proxy server I think.  Other video eg You Tube has no problem at all.

I couldn't see what speed Bouyges was offering but they have a link to check the availability in your area.  SFR do something similar too.


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No-one has proffered any advice yet, so I'll pass on the little I know in the hope it may provoke some more interest.

Firstly, you say SW France. Well, if you're looking for satellite broadband because of no local cable coverage, then I would have thought that any of the companies offering satellite would do, because as far as I know, they all use satellites that cover most of Europe including France.

I was asked a couple of years ago to help a friend in a similar situation to you - i.e. no prospect of ADSL in his area (Calvados).

He found out that the local authority were offering a reduced price equipment purchase deal for people in that situation. This was via a company called Nordnet.

He ordered the kit and asked my help to get it going. Now, he lives several hours from here, so while he was in the UK for a week, he dropped the gear off with me, and I set about getting it all going on a temporary dish in my garden. The set up was relatively straighforward and I got it going fairly quickly.

I should add, perhaps, that I have set up many satellite systems for TV, but not one for satellite broadband.

I then wrote down detailed instructions for him to repeat the installation at his place.

So, what did I think, compared to the 1 meg broadband by landline I have here?

Well, his offer was for 2 meg download, but in my opinion, his system didn't seem as fast as mine. In addition, as the days went by, it got slower. After reading alot about this type of system on this, and other forums, this is common. The restrictions seem quite harsh as to the amount they will allow you download. Also, I use Skype and it just wouldn't work well - this is almost certainly due to the 'satellite delay'

On the plus side, it now means that he can use the internet without 'hogging' the phone line as he did previously with his dial-up connection and, of course, despite my misgivings about the speed, it is, of course, much better that that old dial-up connection.

I would say he is pleased with what he has.

I hope this small account of my limited experience of satellite internet has given you a little to go on and I would suggest that you make enquiries with your Marie to see if there are any deals going in your area - you never know.

Good luck - Tim

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[quote user="Pierre ZFP"]

I'm not sure that I'd invest in such a technology nowadays.  Too expensive, too flakey and at only 2Mbit/s too slow and you still need a landline to upload data




Not sure about that Pierre - the system I got going worked in both directions to and from the satellite leaving the phone line free.

Regards - Tim

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[quote user="Pierre ZFP"]It works in the house, in the car, in the middle of nowhere and even in the basement of a sports hall I was in the other day (my archery club has an indoor range there). In fact, it works anywhere there is a mobile phone signal, after all, that's what its working on.[/quote]

I don't have a mobile phone will it work for me?

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Most bi-directional satellite broadband services are provided by franchise holders, and the basic service is much the same.

They vary in price around 30 Euros per month for up 2 Mb.  The big drawback for most users, is that the companies invariably operate a Fair Use Policy which restricts user bandwidth.  They control user use simply by progressively reducing download speed and capacity for those who exceed their quota.  This is very frustrating - your allocated download limit is often reached far more quickly than you'd expect, particularly if you visit web pages with animation or high levels of imagery, and also (obviously) if you share your connection with other users on your home network.  Speeds are erratic anyway, and often drop to dial-up levels.  Have you considered wimax, if it is available in your area?



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 The Key is effectively a 'mobile phone' and it has a slot for a SIM card.

All necessary software is already in the key.  Just stick the USB key in and off you go straight away!

I can SMS for free to other mobiles and now you've go me thinking if I can send voice too.  I have no need to do so but I like a challenge [:D]


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