New Satellites will Mean Big Changes for Italians.Most of my Italian colleagues and friends in the SEO industry give a pretty dismal report of the state of Italian Internet. An antiquated and corrupt administration that has complete control of the TV has very little incentive to improve Internet speeds. Combine this with a population who are reluctant to learn English and you a recipe for slow Internet development, in terms of laying cables, building popular sites and SEO.
However, Italy and Italians have a life line in 2011. The life line comes in the form of two satellites that can provide faster and cheaper broadband to defeat the problem of the lack of DSL Internet access. The satellites will be dedicated to providing broadband, the most powerful being the Ka-Sat launched into orbit on Monday by Eutelsat.
Companies in Italy will be looking to cash in and quickly spread this new high speed Internet. It is set to be 10 Mbps download speed and 2Mbps upload speed, with fees starting at €25 a month plus VAT. At the moment Italians pay €30 per month for 3-4 Mbps download speeds.
The new Ka-Sat satellite will increase the available bandwidth in the sky by up to 70 gigabits per second. The satellites will be connected to a ground infrastructure of fiber optic stations. The satellites compete for spotbeams; spotbeams concentrate on a small portion of land area which delivers fast performance to that area. This is opposite to the satellite system used for widespread coverage in services such as Sky TV.
The satellites use a KA band specific for the Internet rather than KU which is used in television. The satellites for KA can count on increased bandwidth and reuse the same frequency, which lowers the cost of the spectrum. The new Eutelsat Ka-Sat satellite configuration allows you to reuse the same frequencies 20 times, up to a capacity of 70 Gbps. The transponder in the satellite is separated for downloading and uploading to increase connection reliability.
The other bonus of the Ka-band compared to Ku is that the dishes are smaller at 68cm diameter, which means they will be cheaper and easier to fit. Currently the cost of installation is €400 in total which is expensive, but this is set to fall to €200. ADSL or WiMax is still the much cheaper option but these deals tend to include huge restrictions on downloading. With the increase in bandwidth availability these restrictions should become less.
The satellite remains in short, a technology for the digital divide, it is a last resort when there is no alternative for fast Internet surfing. The progress in satellite technology is useful for about 10 percent of Italians who still do not have access to traditional broadband technology (at least 2 Mbps). Look out for the launch of Hylas 2 in 2012.