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Satellite Internet In the United States

100%
100% BROADBAND COVERAGE

For the residents who live in rural areas of the United States, satellite internet can be a viable alternative to dial up internet.

Even though there are still a number of limitations to satellite technology, newly launched satellites by HughesNet and ViaSat are capable of offering speeds up to 15mbps.

While these speeds can't compete with fiber, DSL, or cable they can be a fabulous upgrade over fixed wireless or dial up internet, just be aware of the high latency.

Should You get Satellite Internet?

If you live in an area where you don't have access to a good wired provider (such as DSL, cable, or fiber), satellite internet can be a great alternative to dial-up.

That said, we recommend also searching to see if there are any fixed wireless providers in your area as this too could be a good solution for rural residents.

Benefits of Satellite Internet

Large Coverage Area

The key benefit of satellite technology is that customers who live in rural or underserved areas now have a viable solution for fast broadband access.

Get More Than You Pay For

While satellite broadband isn't one of the "cheapest" technologies to get internet access, you do get what you pay for.

In 2013, the FCC reported that during peak usage periods, 90% of satellite internet users received 140% or more of the advertised speeds they were paying for.

Limitations

Distance

While satellite internet is a "space age" technology because of the distance data must travel, from earth to space and back again, internet connection via satellites have at least twice as slow average page load speeds for 12mbps plans when compared to connection speeds of DSL, cable, or fiber optic technologies.

Latency

While many users experience satellite internet as "slow" what they are really experiencing the latency of their connection.

According to the FCC satellite internet has the highest latency across all technology types coming at an average of 628ms across all providers. This is almost 10 times slower than typical wired connections.

If you aren't familiar, latency is a key factor contributing to a "fast" connection. Because data with satellite providers large distances (over 22,230 miles in the newest technologies) users experience a significant delay between their request and the page loading as compared with DSL, Cable, or Fiber.

This high latency, may be trouble some for online applications such as VoIP or Skype which require low latency but the increase in transfer rate (mbps) it is still a large improvement over dial-up alternatives.

Line of Sight & Weather Conditions

Because of the infrastructure requirements of satellite internet, the equipment mounted at the consumer's property must have a line-of-sight connection with the provider's network.

This means that some customers who live in mountainous areas won't be able to received access.

Additionally, this line-of-site requirement leaves connections vulnerable to weather conditions such as rain or snow.

How it Works

As you might have guessed, satellite broadband is provided by... satellites or more specifically communications satellites.

While there are many different types of communications satellites most that provide broadband to North America are put into space at an orbit that matches that of the Earth so that they are in a fixed position in the sky.

From there, the provider's network and equipment on the consumer's property communicate and exchange data.

For a thorough overview of the technical specifications, Wikipedia article on satellite internet will do a good job of bringing you up to speed.

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Largest Satellite Providers

1
HughesNet
95.35% Coverage
95.35">%
2
Exede Internet
95.25% Coverage
95.25">%
3
X2nSat
4.98% Coverage
4.98">%
4
0.00">%

States with the most Satellite coverage

1
Connecticut
100.0% Coverage
100.0%
2
Colorado
100.0% Coverage
100.0%
3
California
100.0% Coverage
100.0%
4
Arizona
100.0% Coverage
100.0%
5
American Samoa
100.0% Coverage
100.0%
6
Arkansas
100.0% Coverage
100.0%
7
Alabama
100.0% Coverage
100.0%

Satellite Providers: Availability by State

Alabama4,910,717100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Alaska748,879100.0%4 Satellite Providers
American Samoa54,504100.0%0 Satellite Providers
Arizona6,865,487100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Arkansas3,014,825100.0%3 Satellite Providers
California38,660,952100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Colorado5,331,645100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Connecticut3,631,192100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Delaware941,645100.0%3 Satellite Providers
District of Columbia624,148100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Florida19,892,861100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Georgia10,271,654100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Guam160,957100.0%0 Satellite Providers
Hawaii1,420,595100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Idaho1,671,267100.0%4 Satellite Providers
Illinois12,990,401100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Indiana6,640,448100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Iowa3,099,663100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Kansas2,923,341100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Kentucky4,462,148100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Louisiana4,593,449100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Maine1,344,360100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Maryland5,969,477100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Massachusetts6,638,744100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Michigan9,844,014100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Minnesota5,457,824100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Mississippi3,016,055100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Missouri6,136,125100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Montana1,025,251100.0%4 Satellite Providers
Nebraska1,877,074100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Nevada2,939,533100.0%3 Satellite Providers
New Hampshire1,340,694100.0%3 Satellite Providers
New Jersey8,932,862100.0%3 Satellite Providers
New Mexico2,160,227100.0%3 Satellite Providers
New York19,569,355100.0%3 Satellite Providers
North Carolina10,117,329100.0%3 Satellite Providers
North Dakota693,049100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Northern Mariana Islands51,455100.0%0 Satellite Providers
Ohio11,598,569100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Oklahoma3,884,459100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Oregon3,996,309100.0%4 Satellite Providers
Pennsylvania12,878,075100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Puerto Rico3,619,688100.0%0 Satellite Providers
Rhode Island1,050,223100.0%3 Satellite Providers
South Carolina4,869,283100.0%3 Satellite Providers
South Dakota842,019100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Tennessee6,609,558100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Texas26,967,646100.0%4 Satellite Providers
Utah2,983,231100.0%4 Satellite Providers
Vermont631,268100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Virgin Islands104,010100.0%0 Satellite Providers
Virginia8,374,858100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Washington7,077,005100.0%3 Satellite Providers
West Virginia1,873,258100.0%3 Satellite Providers
Wisconsin5,810,685100.0%4 Satellite Providers
Wyoming591,531100.0%4 Satellite Providers
REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES
    Last Updated on 8/1/2017 by .

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