Satellite Broadband FAQs
What is it and how does it work?
Is satellite internet new and experimental
This technology is not new, people have been watching satellite TV for decades, but there have been some recent advances to make satellite technology more suitable for connecting you to the internet.
Unlike TV, internet over satellite requires a two-way connection. Users of satellite broadband both send and receive information to and from the satellite. Changes to how the data is packaged and the infrastructure both in space and on the ground, mean that you can now get much faster speeds; up to 50 Mbps over satellite broadband. That’s faster than many wired connections!
What’s the process to get connected?
- Get in touch
Either give us a call or leave us your details for us to call you back to discuss your requirements. We can then advise on the most suitable package for your needs and outline all costs. You can speak to our satellite specialists on +44 (0) 1869 222 893
- Pay for installation and activation
You will need to pay an installation and activation fee and set up your regular monthly payments.
- Installation and connection
We will put you in touch with one of our local installers. They will then arrange a convenient time with you. Installation typically takes less than half a day. Installation time can vary depending on the terrain and where the dish is being installed. Once installed, you will be connected from that point onwards.
Why do I need a view of the southern Sky?
You need a view of the southern Sky because that is where our satellites are. We use geostationary satellites, meaning they orbit the earth 22,000 miles above the equator and move at the same speed as the earth’s rotation. This means they appear stationary from earth. Because they are along the equator, they are to the south of us here in the UK.
I’ve heard about congestion, what is this and how could it affect my service?
Congestion can occur when lots of people are using the service all at the same time. The word congestion helps us to understand it as the congestion you face on the road is like the congestion you can face getting online. When lots of people try to access the service at the same time, average speeds decline, just like when lots of drivers are trying to drive along the same stretch of road.
As with other broadband services, average speeds will decline during periods of congestion. Congestion is most likely during peak times. This is 5pm-11pm as well as at weekends and during the school holidays. We’ve collated advice from our technical team on how to get the most out of your data and avoid any slow-down at peak times.
What does unlimited usage mean?
Unlike other providers of satellite broadband, we won’t cut you off after you have used all your priority data. However, your average speeds will decline.This drop in speed can affect what you are able to do online, so it’s important you understand how much data you need each month. We recommend you purchase a package that provides enough priority data for the majority of your needs.
These are averages, meaning speeds can drop to lower levels depending on how many other users are on the network at the same time as you. Just like other, wired, internet connections your speed may be slower when lots of other people are using the network at the same time.
Can I check in advance if I can get a clear view to the satellite?
In the business we call this line of sight. You need line of sight to the satellite so that the information can be beamed to your satellite dish without interference. Tall buildings, trees and mountains can all cause issues with line of sight. Our satellite specialists will advise on the best location for your dish, but you can also have a look using this online tool (https://finder.tooway-instal.com/fixe/pages/index.html) to zoom in on your house and see where the satellite needs to be pointing. You can then see if there are any buildings or tall trees that will be in the way.
Alternatively, you can use the KA-Sat finder App which allows you to view the satellite position using your smart phone. This is available in Apple Store or Google Play Store.
Can I use satellite broadband with a wired or wireless router?
Yes, you can use a wired or wireless router to connect your devices. bigblu can supply a wired/wireless router to meet your needs, although it may come at an additional cost. If you feel you will need one – and most of us do these days – then just let us know when you place your order.
Does the weather affect my connection?
The honest answer is yes, it can have a negative effect on the signal. For that to happen the weather would need to be extreme.
Can I access satellite broadband outside Europe with bigblu?
Yes, we provide satellite internet access across a wide range of countries around the world. Please contact us to see if we can get you connected in your location.
How do I know I’ll receive the speeds quoted?
In common with all other broadband technologies, quoted speeds are ‘average’ and not guaranteed. But don’t forget you have a 14-day cooling-off period to make up your mind.
Our satellite partners use a sophisticated Network Management Systems to keep things running smoothly, and ensure we’re being fair to all our customers. The systems determine the speed you will receive at any given moment based on network demand at that time, and the data you have used so far in the month. This means one user or group of users can’t use a disproportionate amount of data, affecting other users on the network. It also means our quoted average speeds are more accurate than any other technology available.
Does bigblu’s broadband service work with mobile phone signal boosters?
Not to their full potential. Devices like the Vodafone SureSignal™ and 02 Boostbox™ require a relatively low latency (the speed at which the system transmits and returns your requests, such as clicking on a web link) which Satellite broadband can struggle to reach. So, the booster may not prove effective.
I’ve heard of latency issues with satellite – what does this mean?
Latency is the delay between when you click something and when you see it. When you click on a link, it sends a signal which must go into space to reach the satellite, down to the satellite base station in Italy and then come back. Most of the delay is from processing and re-transmitting of that signal.
Our satellite broadband uses the very latest software and hardware techniques to minimise latency. When you click to request a webpage, our hardware strips out the messy unnecessary bits, making it much lighter to carry back from space. It helps when handling large file or email downloads.