Even though satellite internet and fixed wireless internet both deliver internet service via a wireless signal, they are in fact very different when it comes to performance. Satellite internet requires the equipment at your location to “talk” to a satellite in orbit. The wireless signal travels about 22,236 miles! At such a long distance, cloudy weather or heavy rainstorms can cause intermittent outages. Whereas, fixed wireless internet is a short wireless hop from the customer to the nearest tower which is anywhere from 2 – 8 miles and is not subject interference from bad weather.
There are two main performance issues regarding satellite and fixed wireless internet service. They are latency and data caps.
Latency is how long it takes to send a signal over the link measured in milliseconds. Even at the speed of light, which wireless signals travel at, there is an inherent delay (latency) with satellite internet that fixed wireless internet doesn’t have. Because of this high latency, this makes satellite internet almost unusable for online gaming or remotely working from home. Whereas, fixed wireless only has to travel a few miles to the nearest tower to access the internet.
Data caps are the other main issues with satellite internet service. Data caps are when the satellite internet service provider either slows your connection or charges you for using too much data. Data caps are a very real concern if you are watching Netflix or other streaming video. According to Netflix an HD stream can use up to 2.8GB of data per hour. If you have a 10GB monthly data cap, that limit can be reached within 3.5 hours. Your only options at this point is to pay for more data or wait until the new billing period comes around.
REACH4 Communications has over 27 tower sites in Acadia Parish and surrounding areas to provide fixed wireless internet service to rural residents and businesses. REACH4 Communications’ internet service has a very low latency thus providing great online gaming experiences and the ability to work securely from home. REACH4 Communications does not have data caps. REACH4’s service is unlimited downloads. In fact, REACH4’s heaviest user downloaded a total of 1,050 GB of data in one month’s time. That’s over 1 TB (terabyte)! Imagine what the bill would have been if he had satellite.