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AllStar
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James Hill said:
[...]The only battle in this war that's worth mentioning is Internet access. Cable has won the first round. For satellite to compete, they're going to need to invest some serious R&D money into their own technology or continue to team with telcos and pray that they can increase download speed while decreasing cost.[...]James Hill
We need to remember that trying to superficially compare overall internet experience over satellite versus cable is flawed. Satellite internet access in a "perfect" case has a built-in 1/4 to 1/2 second EXTRA LATENCY that doesn't occur on cable internet systems. Yes, satellite systems have the potential to have higher bandwidth/capacity, but the latency (the time between when you press ENTER until the time the request makes it to the destination) is the killer -- especially if you want any interactivity (be it gaming or telnet/remote control/PCAnywhere, etc). Satellites operate at 22500 miles "up" and the speed of light says it takes 1/8 second to travel from the ground station (your home) to the bird. It takes another 1/8 second to go from the bird to the ground station that routes your request to the internet. That's a mighty long "pipe" (minimum 1/4 second) to fill before your request brings results and then there's another 1/4 second to see the results). Once the "hose" starts delivering, it can deliver VERY fast, but it takes time to fill. Joe Gameplayer will DETEST satellite internet access, no matter HOW fast its capacity is. Latency is the key here.
 
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