The sky's not the limit for UK ISP

Company gives new meaning to term Ether-Net

A UK ISP offering high speed Internet access via satellite launches Tuesday.

Eurosky will target its service at serious "bandwidth-hungry" users who want to download video clips, music, games and videos in seconds. According to Eurosky, Netscape Navigator can be downloaded in 8 minutes, compared to 45 minutes using ISDN -- equivalent to 720kB/s downstream.

Users will need a satellite dish (£100) and PC card (£199) and will pay a monthly charge of £20 for the service. Users will also have to pay local call charges for Internet access. ADSL, the land-based equivalent for high-speed access, is expected to cost £40 a month for 512kB/s up to £150 a month for 2MB/s.

Director of Eurosky Phil Sabin, believes certain people will be willing to pay for the service. "The sort of person who will want this service is someone who has fast Internet connection at work and wants the same at home," he said. Sabin is hoping to attract 130,000 users by next year and may offer free telephone access if enough users come aboard. Eurosky will also offer its satellite service to other ISPs.

Sabin believes the major advantage satellite systems have over ADSL will be the ability to offer services offline. "ADSL is only available in limited places and still has to go over the network. With satellite, files can be downloaded while users are offline," he said. Sabin explained, that once a page or download request has been made -- while the telephone link is live -- that request can be sent to the satellite receiver even if the telephone connection is offline.

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