Satellite Broadband in Northern Ireland

Is satellite Broadband an option for properties in Northern Ireland and what are the alternatives?

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It’s a surprise how many properties are struggling with broadband. One of the top solutions for properties struggling in Northern Ireland is satellite broadband. There’s one other solution that’s even better but we’ll come on to that later.

What is satellite broadband?

Satellite broadband is a solution to slow broadband issues for properties across the UK, including Northern Ireland. An engineer will install a dish on your property which is then aligned to the geostationary satellite. Finally, and once the engineer has completed their fine tuning of the system, it’ll be hooked up to a Wi-Fi router in the property allowing you to access broadband via satellite wherever you’re in range of Wi-Fi.

Who is satellite broadband for?

It’s for any property in Northern Ireland that does not have access to a fast service through their landline. More commonly this is taken up by rural properties but it’s not unknown for it to be set up in more built-up areas where faster fibre-based connections have yet to be provisioned.

Satellite broadband positives

Availability

Satellite broadband is available to nearly every property in the UK if it has a clear view of the sky

Speed

Download and upload speeds are much faster when compared to dialup or ADSL services.

What are the negatives?

Weather related instability

The service is sensitive to certain weather conditions. For this reason, storms and thick fog will likely cause temporary instability or outages.

High latency

Due to the distance the signal must travel, the connection will suffer from higher latency of around 600-900ms. This makes online gaming nearly impossible and there will be an initial delay when doing anything on the internet.

Data caps

All Satellite packages have a priority data allowance. For example, if you have a monthly allowance of 50 GB of data, for that first 50 GB you’ll be able to download at the fastest speed your satellite connection can maintain. However, as soon as you’ve used those 50 GB, your speeds would drop to a maximum of 2 Mbps Download. As the typical household in Northern Ireland uses over 200 GB per month this can quickly become a problem. Whilst 2 Mbps is enough for basic web browsing and checking emails, it cannot reliably sustain high quality streaming and multiple users being online at once.

High cost

Packages start from around £20 per month but can be as high as £100 per month. The one-off equipment and set-up costs also can be around £600.

Is there any alternative option?

Yes, before looking at a satellite broadband service you should first look into 4G broadband.

There’s good coverage across Northern Ireland, the service has no data caps whatsoever and doesn’t suffer with high latency. It’s described as the only real viable alternative if you can’t currently access a reliable service via fibre.

Don’t worry if you get little or even no signal on your mobile either as this can still be set up at your property. If you're in a strong coverage area, you'll only need a 4G router. Area's that struggle for signal can have a high strength antenna installed to boost the signal further.

At National Broadband we’re rural broadband specialists. Learn more about our 4G based service below.

Fast 4G Broadband

Who are the providers?

  • Konnect
  • BigBlu
  • FreedomSAT