Satellite Internet Service Basics
by Scott Pimental
Several factors, including geography and population density, account for the 71
percent of American households that the U.S. Government Accountability Office
(GAO) details barriers to high-speed Internet adoption.
Twenty-eight percent of American households subscribed to broadband service in
2005, about 30 million homes. Of the remaining 71 percent of households, 30
percent subscribe to dial-up Internet service, and 41 percent have no home
access. Among broadband subscribers, distribution between cable modemand DSL was
almost evenly split. DSL is less likely to serve rural residents; service is
only available within a three-mile radius of a central office.
Certain household factors make residents more or less likely to subscribe to
broadband services. Households with high incomes are 39 percent more likely to
subscribe to broadband than lower-income households. College-educated heads of
households are 12 percent more likely to adopt broadband than households headed
by someone without a college degree.
While price remains a barrier to adoption, the cost of broadband services has
declined over time. Tax is a barrier to subscribing when it equals 10 percent,
however when tax amounts to only 5 percent of the rate it doesn't affect
subscription rates among rural residents and lower-income households.
Broadband providers are available for all but 1 percent of the country's
population. Ninety-nine percent of Americans live in 95 percent of the Zip Codes
that have at least one ISP offering broadband access. While it appears companies
continue to build out infrastructure for broadband access, geography and
population density deter providers from further deployment.
Federal programs like the Universal Service Fund (USF) and the Department of
Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) have increased the uptake of
broadband service in rural areas.
Due to rugged terrain, it's more expensive to deploy land-based broadband in
rural areas. The same areas are less populated and return smaller revenues.
Broadband providers are more likely to enter a particular market if there's no
existing competition, though the land grab appears to be over. By contrast,
incumbent telecom and cable providers are likely to roll out or enhance services
in markets with new competition.
Satellite broadband internet service is a viable alternative to traditional
What is Satellite Internet Service? Satellite Internet services are used in
locations where terrestrial Internet access is not available and in locations
which move frequently. Internet access via satellite is available worldwide,
including vessels at sea.