by Mike Masnick
Mon, Feb 25th 2008 11:31am
Every few years or so, the press gets excited about the possibility of internet access via satellite. Of course, internet access by satellite has been available for years, but it gets little usage, mainly because it's awful. As we discussed a few years back, such offerings almost never live up to their promised bandwidth claims, and always fail to discuss latency. Most people like to focus on bandwidth, but if the latency sucks, then the bandwidth doesn't matter. And, of course, the problem with satellite-based internet is that the latency always sucks, due to the distance. So, before people get too excited about the news of Japan launching a "super high-speed internet access" satellite, read someone like Tom Evslin explaining why latency problems will make it not particularly useful for most internet activities.
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