Why would you choose satellite broadband Internet? Ireland has zero broadband Internet access away from cities and large towns and satellite broadband Internet is about the only option that is open to many rural families in Ireland.

If you live in rural Ireland then your broadband options are very limited. Your first choice should always be fixed line broadband, either through your phone line or via a Cable connection. Every home has a telephone line, but many rural exchanges and lines have still not been upgraded to be able to handle broadband Internet access. Only the large urban areas have access to Cable.

That leaves only two ways in which rural homes can access the Internet, other than a dial-up connection: Mobile Broadband Internet and Satellite broadband Internet. Ireland has many areas where there is poor or no mobile phone signal, if you live in one of these areas then satellite Internet broadband is your only option.

Ireland, or rather our government, has ruled that Sky will not be allowed to offer its satellite broadband Internet service in Ireland. Nobody understands why this is the case, but the position is not going to change anytime soon.

If you are relying on the 'National Broadband' rollout scheme, you will have a long wait. You might remember the government statement, 'Every home and business in Ireland will have broadband Internet access by September 2010.

In today's economic climate investment in Ireland's essential infrastructure is being cut. The deadline is already being extended. The speed guaranteed under the National Broadband Scheme is pathetic, anyway, 1Mb, when Eircom are advertising 11Mb and more on landline services.

You have to look out for yourself if you want Broadband Internet access any time before 2020. Eircom, the company that owns the exchanges and phone lines in Ireland, has stated that the company has no plans to EVER upgrade rural phone lines and exchanges.

Advantages of Satellite Broadband Internet in Ireland

  • It works and is usable

Yes, it works, are we supposed to cheer?

  • It is faster than dial up

Satellite broadband Internet is a lot faster than dial up and if dial-up is all you are used to then you will be happy with it.

  • It is always on

Yes…. So what. It should be for 60 euro a month.

Disadvantages of Satellite Broadband Internet in Ireland

  • It is expensive

The basic package is 35 euro a month, about three times the price of any other broadband system. The basic package gives you EXTREMELY limited bandwidth and is unlikely to be sufficient for most families. The next package costs 60 euro a month and is still very limited. This is an awful amount to pay for the dreadful service offered.

  • Your usage is metered

On dial-up you cannot use video or audio enabled websites because of the slow speed of your connection. With satellite broadband Internet in Ireland you are still unable to use video or sound because of the tiny amount of bandwidth you are allowed.

One 2 minute video clip will cause your Internet connection to freeze for 4 hours because you have exceeded the allowable 4 hour download allowance in that 2 minute clip.

There are usage allowances for one hour, four hours, one day and 1 week that are designed to stop you using a month's allowance inadvertently by watching one 30 minute video.

Try explaining to someone on a normal broadband connection that you cannot do video and they look at you as if you have lost the plot.

  • It is very slow compared to cable or phone line DSL broadband

If you are used to a DSL Internet broadband connection, either on a phone line or a cable connection you will find the slow speed unbearable. It is usable, but only just.

  • It crashes ten times a day

This is the worst aspect of the 'service'. You can put up with slow. You can put up with usage limits. What you cannot put up with is your connection failing at some crucial moment in a transaction. Satellite Broadband Internet services DO crash at least three times every day.

Sometimes the problem is fixed by rebooting the computer or the satellite box. There are many occasions though, when your Internet connection goes down and stays down for two hours or more.

Why You Need to Buy Satellite Broadband Internet

Ireland's infrastructure will still be the same in ten years time. A satellite broadband Internet connection may not be good, but it may be your ONLY OPTION. Any Internet connection, even one as slow and as unreliable as this one is, is streets ahead of a dial-up connection.

Yes, it is expensive. Yes it is unreliable. Yes it is an appalling service.

Yes, you need to buy it because there is no alternative.