Satellite Broadband Gets an Upgrade

If thoughts of super-fast satellite link-ups from spy movies have you considering satellite broadband service, we have some news you’d like to hear.

WildBlue, one of the top satellite broadband providers in the US, is upgrading its capacity to allow for 150,000 new customers. How are they doing it? Rather than launching a new bird, they’re upgrading their transmission link hardware and software to allow 50 percent more information bits through the same existing radio link.

Some are skeptical that these upgrades will actually lead to better service. But, if you live in an area where dial-up is your only other option, most reviews say jumping to satellite is worth it.

For those of us who live in urban areas and take it for granted that we can shop around for internet service, we should count ourselves lucky:

WildBlue estimates that there are over 11 million households in areas throughout the United States where DSL or cable broadband services are not available and that over 7.5 million of these households are still accessing the Internet through a traditional dial-up connection.

With WildBlue’s latest upgrades, they seem to be beating out their other major competitor in the satellite broadband space: HughesNet. In fact, in a Consumer Reports review of ISPs, HughesNet got the lowest possible rating in all categories. This customer seems to agree.