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Chapter 17. How a Modem (Really) Works > Satellite Internet Access

Satellite Internet Access

The latest option for those seeking high-speed Internet access is another new variation on an old theme. Just as satellite dishes competed with cable decades ago for premium movie channel services, dishes are now back, offering satellite Internet access to compete with cable and DSL. In a practical sense, satellite Internet access isn't so much of a competing technology as much as it is an alternative in areas where cable or DSL services are not available. Satellite Internet access is a somewhat pricey option at this time, though with downstream rates from 150–1,200 Kbps and upstream rates around 50–150 Kbps, available bandwidth is far greater than dialup connectivity.

Sputnik

The first artificial satellite, Sputnik (Russian for “Satellite”), was launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957. It was about the size of a basketball and weighed 183 pounds.



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