Hughesnet satellite internet

hughes phil

New Member
Jan 6, 2010
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usa
Vice President Joe Biden picked Dawsonville for a Thursday announcement of the newest government giveaway, billions of dollars for new broadband Internet access for rural areas. Though this sounds pretty good at first, on reflection it really stinks.
Satellite Internet providers HughesNet and Wildblue have invested billions of their stockholders' dollars to be able to offer broadband to anyone, anywhere. The federal government just trashed their investment, and they did it, in part, with the stockholders' own tax dollars.
 

66N33

Member
Apr 5, 2008
10
0
I think this is a great initiative for rural areas in the US that the large telecoms would otherwise not bother with. After all, a great nation deserves a great broadband network. I mean, look at Japan, they are already expanding a gigabit broadband network while we are still haggling with telecoms over how to distribute G3 in rural areas? I mean we practically invented the internet in this country and we are really lagging behind in terms of mass distribution. I think these investments will pay for themselves over time as rural Americans can get better access to more robust and affordable internet that will enable productivity and stimulate competition and new enterprises in rural areas.

In addition, let's be realistic about what satellite internet is for rural consumers...its a last resort! Anyone with a choice will get DSL, cable or wireless before investing in the equipment, installation and premium monthly fee for satellite internet. Not to mention the latency, and FAP issues...

As an installer, I am not going to loose much sleep over these government programs. There will be plenty of holes left in broadband coverage in the US and satellite providers will continue to play a roll for many years to come. In addition, satellite internet providers will also continue to make huge profits from their commercial divisions which provide reserved bandwidth to large enterprises, franchises and government/military. These guaranteed connections are used for VPN's and as redundant connections for mission-critical stuff in urban and rural locations alike. These types of services cost tens of thousands of dollars per month. Not a bad little business for the poor satellite internet providers.
 

harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
16,889
2,929
Salem, OR
Did Veep Biden say how they planned to do this?

If you're an investor in satellite Internet service, you should be worried as microwave is probably the "wave" of the future.

Like most gubmint projects, this one is going to take a while so it stands to reason that satellite Internet will suffer a slow and painful death at the hands of the administration just like every other business is.
 

bradleys

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 10, 2003
237
0
Seattle / Blaine / Port McNeill
The billions and billions that the gov is going to spend won't go very far out here in BFE. It's pretty unlikely that they will come up with magic technology that will solve all the problems with service in rural areas. I'd love it if they did, but my own experiences don't give me much confidence.

Clearwire wimax doesn't reach my place, and they don't have plans to try any time soon. They say that there just aren't enough of us to justify the investment.

StarTouch's microwave system requires a 100 foot tower (at $35 per foot just for the tower, NOT including guy wires and extra charges for aiming a system that's 100 feet above ground). The service is $100 per month forever.

Verizon wireless cellular gives me a basic -117 dBm signal. I can improve that to -87 dBm with an external yagi antenna and external amplifier with very short cables. That's still not enough to get reliable internet service.

Verizon T1 service is about $350 per month, but it IS available (according to the salesman who is 3000 miles away in Virginia).

XO T1 - who knows? - they won't respond to my inquiries.

Verizon doesn't provide DSL in my location. I called, and "just for fun" the fellow ran the numbers. They would need two repeaters to reach my neighborhood. Including all the wiring and repeaters, the cost would be tens of thousands of dollars.

Comcast cable is about 3/4 of a mile from my location. They wouldn't give me a price, they just said they wouldn't connect me. Googling around, I'm seeing prices for stringing cable from a dollar to ten dollars a foot. So, that's between $3500 and $35000.

There is a shared 432 foot tower a couple of miles from me, and two shared 250 foot towers about five miles from me. From what I can research, it appears that Verizon and StarTouch use these towers. The signals don't make it to my place. I have five acres, so maybe the gov will put a tower in my yard? Oops - I have "wetlands", so that's probably out.

I use HughesNet for my internet. They charged about $500 for installation, and my monthly charge is $90 per month. I appreciate that they have a large investment in this service (and others). However, it looks to me like they're being properly compensated for their investment.

It would be great to get cheap rural broadband. It would be fun to see the numbers that the gov uses, to figure out how many people they can serve per billion dollars.
 

Stargazer

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 7, 2003
16,563
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Western WV
Satellite Broadband Grant = STUPID STUPID STUPID!!! Satellite Broadband is not a good alternative even if it worked right and even if you got the right speeds and if there were no FAP issues because of latency issues.
 

HCI

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 19, 2005
2,580
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land of the ice and snow
Satellite Broadband Grant = STUPID STUPID STUPID!!! Satellite Broadband is not a good alternative even if it worked right and even if you got the right speeds and if there were no FAP issues because of latency issues.

I disagree. Thousands of people everyday switch from dialup to satellite and they are happy with the service.
 

Stargazer

Supporting Founder
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Sep 7, 2003
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Thousands more are unhappy with the service because it is just as slow as dialup if that parts of most days. You can't do gaming on it, cant do VOIP, can't do those work from home applications, can't watch video or download anything decent until 2 am to 7 am unless you get a very expensive package or get subjected to FAP.

Satellite is a LAST RESORT as an alternative to dialup. It should not be used in place of wireless/dsl/cable/fiber into getting into some areas. I realize there may be some sense in using satellite where it may be harder to get the better services I just listed but a lot of improvement needs to be made on satellite bandwidth.

Yes, people may switch everyday from dialup to satellite, but that certainly don't mean they are happy with it. They are stuck with a crappy service. It is good for those that do occasional web browsing and maybe a download once in a while. I have heard many complaints about satellite.
 

HCI

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 19, 2005
2,580
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land of the ice and snow
Thousands more are unhappy with the service because it is just as slow as dialup if that parts of most days. You can't do gaming on it, cant do VOIP, can't do those work from home applications, can't watch video or download anything decent until 2 am to 7 am unless you get a very expensive package or get subjected to FAP.

Satellite is a LAST RESORT as an alternative to dialup. It should not be used in place of wireless/dsl/cable/fiber into getting into some areas. I realize there may be some sense in using satellite where it may be harder to get the better services I just listed but a lot of improvement needs to be made on satellite bandwidth.

Yes, people may switch everyday from dialup to satellite, but that certainly don't mean they are happy with it. They are stuck with a crappy service. It is good for those that do occasional web browsing and maybe a download once in a while. I have heard many complaints about satellite.

You are just dead wrong and are giving false and misleading information. Its not just as slow as dialup. You CAN use VOIP, you CAN use work form home applications or VPN's, and you CAN watch video and download larger files. I deal with it everyday and have seen plenty of customers who use it successfully. As for the gameing no it does not work great but the percentage people who get the service who even ask about gameing is under 1%, and I would say only 10% to 15% of all internet users games and I think I am being very generous with that figure so its a small market. I done over 250 residential Hughesnet installs last year and only 5 or 6 even asked about gameing. I have done 12 installs so far this year including 3 for business, 1 in a CVS which all CVS's use Hughesnet for backup on their T1, 1 in a car dealership that uses it for site specific commercial broadcasting, and 1 in a Tax office that has 6 computers that the reason why the customer went with Hughes is she has it at home so she must be happy enough with it to trust it with the business for the upcoming tax season.

Some business even have Hughes just for their field employees specifically for their VPN use. I also have first hand experience with remote service of my PC when I was using Hughes. I used it for 4 years without a problem ever, and was more than happy NOT to be on dialup. I downloaded songs from itunes and watched plenty of videos without having an issue with FAP as well, yes you do have to monitor your activity when you do heavy downloading, but having a connection that will actually download a 25MB file in a decent amount of time compared to dialup is worth keeping an eye on it every now and then. BTW 25MB on dialup will be over 1 hour, Hughes home plan 25MB is under 5 mins. I do have cable now which is better and yes Satellite internet is only a good alternative to dialup which is who they are trying to compete with look at any of the ads they all say Hughesnet is the solution to people who live in rural areas who don't have access to another high speed service.

As for the complaints you have heard about Hughes, well I have a cell phone and it does not work all the time, I dial numbers or try to send a message and it tells me I have no signal. Sometimes my wife tells me she trys to call me and it goes straight to my voice mail so I guess my phone service sucks. I also bought a Ford truck one time and the transmission failed within 2 months so I guess Ford trucks suck. Do an internet search and you will find any company you can think of have complaints by customers for service or products, everyone is not going to be happy. Bottom line if Hughes or any other satellite internet had as bad service as you make out their would be failing. For Hughes the 3rd quarter 2009 results say it all, you cannot do this with "crappy service". http://www.hughes.com/HUGHES/Doc/0/...ions_Announces_Third_Quarter_2009_Results.pdf

Consumer business sets new records with impressive growth over the third quarter of 2008:
– Record third quarter subscriber gross adds of 50,000, an increase of 14%.
– Record third quarter subscriber net adds of 17,000 for growth of 49%.
– Services revenue increased by 19%.
– Consumer ARPU increased to $71 over $68 in the third quarter of 2008 and $70 in the second
quarter of 2009.
– Churn improved to 2.3% from 2.6% in the third quarter of 2008.


Subscribers are up, Churn is down. Looks like customers are pretty happy to me. ;)
 
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oldford

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Feb 6, 2007
430
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Eastern Maine
Thousands more are unhappy with the service because it is just as slow as dialup if that parts of most days. You can't do gaming on it, cant do VOIP, can't do those work from home applications, can't watch video or download anything decent until 2 am to 7 am unless you get a very expensive package or get subjected to FAP..

This is not completely true with Starband.

Satellite is a LAST RESORT as an alternative to dialup. It should not be used in place of wireless/dsl/cable/fiber into getting into some areas. I realize there may be some sense in using satellite where it may be harder to get the better services I just listed but a lot of improvement needs to be made on satellite bandwidth...

I'm not sure what "a lot of improvement on satellite bandwidth" is, but it
is generally true that satellite should not be the first choice over
DSL/cable etc for most users.

Yes, people may switch everyday from dialup to satellite, but that certainly don't mean they are happy with it. They are stuck with a crappy service. It is good for those that do occasional web browsing and maybe a download once in a while. I have heard many complaints about satellite.

As a Starband dealer, I have zero customers who are unhappy with
their service. If the customer is coming from a dialup system at 28-56k
and no DSL/Cable is available, satellite is an excellent solution.

Regards, Eric
 
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66N33

Member
Apr 5, 2008
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0
Getting back to the original post...I wonder if there are any provisions for satellite internet connections in the government's rural broadband initiative? Has anyone read any articles about which types of connections the government is going to subsidize, or are we just speculating that satellite internet is off the table?...
 

Stargazer

Supporting Founder
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Sep 7, 2003
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There were several people that have came to me telling me that satellite would not work for VPN and that their companies were telling them that they would not let them use satellite due to issues they had in the past trying it. I have had others say that the latency was too high and it would cause disconnects with the VPN while others say it caused them disconnections with gaming.

Yes, it is as slow as dialup if not worse at times because sometimes it does not work like it should. It is not like that all of the time but it is from time to time. I notice this mainly during the evening time between 5 30 and 8 30 pm which is usually when people get home from work. I see the best speeds in the early morning hours.

I am not dead wrong. It is not as slow as dialup all of the time, but when webpages won't load, and others are constantly telling me the same things about that they experience the same issues, along with gaming and VPN issues, then something just ain't right.
 

damjr

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 11, 2004
334
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There were several people that have came to me telling me that satellite would not work for VPN and that their companies were telling them that they would not let them use satellite due to issues they had in the past trying it. I have had others say that the latency was too high and it would cause disconnects with the VPN while others say it caused them disconnections with gaming.

Yes, it is as slow as dialup if not worse at times because sometimes it does not work like it should. It is not like that all of the time but it is from time to time. I notice this mainly during the evening time between 5 30 and 8 30 pm which is usually when people get home from work. I see the best speeds in the early morning hours.

I am not dead wrong. It is not as slow as dialup all of the time, but when webpages won't load, and others are constantly telling me the same things about that they experience the same issues, along with gaming and VPN issues, then something just ain't right.

You know when talking about the older 7000 or earlier series hughs systems I would 100% agree with you on all your arguments.

But with the new 9000 series system I disagree. We use it everyday in our office on our laptops wireless connection. There are at least 3-4 users at a time on it and it flows smooth 95% of the time. Are their times that it slows down to dialup speeds, yes , but only about 5% of the time. The 9000 system has been more reliable and steady with far fewer complaints coming from customers. How do I know this? Because my company handles all the fullfillment installation for Hughes west of the Mississippi. We handle thousands of new installs and service calls every month. 90% of the service calls we see coming in are on the older systems. Our install companies love the new 9000's. Would I recommend Hughes for gaming today? No. Would I recomend it for everything else? Yes !!!

Hughes have made great improvements on their system and when they launch their new bird the system will only be better. Just wait and see.
 

grohgreg

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 21, 2008
523
1
Dawson Springs, KY
I am not dead wrong.
Well, you're not dead right either. Hughes states right up front in their FAQs that satellite - all satellite - is not suitable for FPS gaming. They also state that their consumer grade plans do not support VPN or VoIP. You have to pony up the bucks for a business plan if you want that stuff to work to any degree of satisfaction. Businesses tailor their HughesNet plans consistent with their mission. If they make a lotta calls, they pay for optional VoIP acceleration. If they have work-at-home employees - they pay for optional VPN acceleration.

It's very discouraging - the number of people who complain that is, just for the sake of hearing (or reading) themselves complain. I know, I married one of them. With very little effort, you could (should) have uncovered the gaming/VPN/VoIP limitations yourself - and realized the difficulty in actually supporting such complaints

//greg//
 

Stargazer

Supporting Founder
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Sep 7, 2003
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Western WV
The problem is, a lot of people get the service and do not realize the limitations of the service. I think some sellers are afraid of telling them of those limitations, heck, I am sure some even don't tell them about FAP. I do realize that most probably just surf the web and that they do not need gaming or VPN, maybe not even VOIP. Those that do their research will know if it is right for them though.

Yes, it is better than dialup, but it is not equal to DSL/Cable/FIOS
 

EWM

New Member
Sep 26, 2012
1
0
coastal road
Accurate assessment

The billions and billions that the gov is going to spend won't go very far out here in BFE. It's pretty unlikely that they will come up with magic technology that will solve all the problems with service in rural areas. I'd love it if they did, but my own experiences don't give me much confidence.

Clearwire wimax doesn't reach my place, and they don't have plans to try any time soon. They say that there just aren't enough of us to justify the investment.

StarTouch's microwave system requires a 100 foot tower (at $35 per foot just for the tower, NOT including guy wires and extra charges for aiming a system that's 100 feet above ground). The service is $100 per month forever.

Verizon wireless cellular gives me a basic -117 dBm signal. I can improve that to -87 dBm with an external yagi antenna and external amplifier with very short cables. That's still not enough to get reliable internet service.

Verizon T1 service is about $350 per month, but it IS available (according to the salesman who is 3000 miles away in Virginia).

XO T1 - who knows? - they won't respond to my inquiries.

Verizon doesn't provide DSL in my location. I called, and "just for fun" the fellow ran the numbers. They would need two repeaters to reach my neighborhood. Including all the wiring and repeaters, the cost would be tens of thousands of dollars.

Comcast cable is about 3/4 of a mile from my location. They wouldn't give me a price, they just said they wouldn't connect me. Googling around, I'm seeing prices for stringing cable from a dollar to ten dollars a foot. So, that's between $3500 and $35000.

There is a shared 432 foot tower a couple of miles from me, and two shared 250 foot towers about five miles from me. From what I can research, it appears that Verizon and StarTouch use these towers. The signals don't make it to my place. I have five acres, so maybe the gov will put a tower in my yard? Oops - I have "wetlands", so that's probably out.

I use HughesNet for my internet. They charged about $500 for installation, and my monthly charge is $90 per month. I appreciate that they have a large investment in this service (and others). However, it looks to me like they're being properly compensated for their investment.

It would be great to get cheap rural broadband. It would be fun to see the numbers that the gov uses, to figure out how many people they can serve per billion dollars.


I just moved to the Blaine area and your write-up is still very accurate for the area I am looking to live on along the coast ... it looks like the open choices are Satellite or Microwave (at least these folks return calls) ... as for the terrestrial providers ... not showing much interest (or as you pointed out - with many costs and conditions attached) ... yet up the road at the Golf community (no problems)
 

grohgreg

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 21, 2008
523
1
Dawson Springs, KY
x2. I've had no viable alternative since Hughes started selling the old gray one-way dish back in the 90s. Tried Verizon a while back, can't get better than 2G speeds off the closest tower. And there is no LTE planned at all. Even then, the data allowance sucks. So for the last 13 years - and for the foreseeable future - satellite is all I got

//greg//
 

Stargazer

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Sep 7, 2003
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Western WV
Been a while since this thread has started and a bit has changed since then. With Hughesnet and WildBlue/Exede new satellites the difference is night and day. I have heard many positive comments about the new services. I had someone come to me earlier this year asking me about wireless service and they had Hughesnet. I told them to switch to Exede. I just happened to have ran into them about three or four months later and they said that it was great and even worked with Skype. Fortunately DSL became available in my area last year then cable this year. It was a god send. If those services would not have come to my area then I would have went with Exede although I would have still be unhappy with the FAP data cap.

Satellite has finally made strides and is a bit faster than DSL in some areas. Frontier is starting to do upgrades to bond the lines and offering up to 25 MB service now. There has been a lot of expansion through Frontier and the cable company in my area serving many rural areas that they haven't just a few years ago.
 

aegrotatio

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 23, 2006
349
2
A Public Bathroom
Voice over IP (VoIP) is actively being used on Exede and even original WildBlue. It works. The compression makes up for some of the delay, if you can believe it. It's hard to describe but the voice delay is not much more than that of a cell phone.
 

Stargazer

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If VoIP works well enough, one can dump the landline and get magic jack or net talk or some similar service to help offset the cost of the satellite broadband service.
 
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