Internet has become a necessity in today’s technological age, but sometimes it is not always accessible in all areas of the country. Often times, rural areas do not have the correct wiring to support traditional DSL or cable connection. That is where satellite internet has been able to develop customers. When you choose satellite internet, the connection is made through satellites in space sending and receiving messages from your computer. No existing wires needed. Not only that, satellite internet can be faster than traditional options so people in bigger cities are choosing it over DSL or cable internet. Providers like Exede offer internet plans with download speeds up to 25 Mbps. JupiterBroadband brings you a guide to help you decide if satellite internet is the right choice.
Restrictions on Satellite Dishes
Before you decide if you want satellite internet, you need to make sure it is permitted in your surrounding area. Thankfully, the Federal Communications Commission has clearly defined your rights as a satellite broadband customer with the 1996 Over-the-Air Reception Devices (OTARD) rule. This rule clearly states that anyone choosing satellite internet has rights to install a dish as long as it is in a personal (not public) space. If a tenant has exclusive space for the dish, the landlord or homeowners association (HOA) cannot do any of the following:
- Delay or prevent installation, use, or maintenance in any way
- Charge any sort of secondary fee for installation
- Hinder signal strength in anyway
Exclusive space is defined as any space the tenant has exclusive use to such as patios or balconies. Areas where the landlord or HOA can prevent installation include common areas for the residents or areas that are jointly owned such as the roof or exterior walls. This OTARD rule applies to townhomes, manufactured homes, and single family homes. You always should read your lease agreement or HOA handbook to clearly see what is defined and to make sure they are not infringing on your rights as a broadband customer.
If you own your home, there are very few rules telling you where and how to install your dish. Just make sure you still read your town ordinances before installation. Also, if you are near an airport, you should contact the FAA to see if they restrict the use of antennas within a certain radius of the airport so that communication signals are not crossed.
Why Should You Choose Satellite Internet?
If you live in a rural area, satellite internet will always be your best option. The satellites used to beam down the connection are geostationary, meaning they move with the Earth's orbit so they will stay in the same spot as it is relative to the Earth’s surface. This is important to understand because that means there is satellite connection almost anywhere in the country.
Exede recently announced their plans to launch a new satellite, ViaSat-2, sometime in early 2017. This will greatly increase their capacity to deliver internet connection for their internet plans by 2018. What that means for you as a customer is more bandwidth at the same low prices they offer now. It will also increase speed and reliability by opening up more satellite beams.
How to Safely Install and Maintain Your Satellite
Installing a satellite can be dangerous so it is often required that a certified technician from your provider come to your home or apartment to complete the process. Climbing up on your roof and not knowing how to properly install a dish can result in serious injury. If you screw holes into your roof wrong, it can cause roof leaks. Plus, if it is not secure, strong winds can blow it down and it can potentially harm your neighbor’s property (something that you homeowners insurance might not cover). Professional installers know how to safely and correctly install your dish. You also need to make sure your satellite dish is properly grounded in case of a lightning strike.
Once installed, your satellite dish requires almost no maintenance. If you notice it starting to get dirty do not clean it as this could interfere with the connection. A dirty satellite does not cause poor connection. If you have any problems with your dish, contact your service provider immediately because as stated before handling satellite dishes is dangerous and should be left to the professionals.
Do your homework. Always know your rights as broadband customer and make sure to read up any current regulations that may be in place in your town, neighborhood, or complex. Satellite internet is a good choice for most people because connections are continually improving as new technology is released and you can get internet practically anywhere across the country.