Home > Articles > Networking

  • Print
  • + Share This
Like this article? We recommend

Is Satellite Right for All Applications?

As I stated earlier, a geosynchronous satellite orbits 23,500 miles above the earth—or about a 50,000-mile round trip for a conversation. Light travels at 186,000 miles per second. On paper, at least, that equates to a little more than one-quarter second of delay. That’s enough to become noticeable before one even considers other things that can "slow a circuit down" such as latency in I/P and other protocols, as well as capacitive and reactive components in circuits. The effect of this becomes apparent in the example below, in what I consider to be my all-time favorite telecommunications practical joke: listening to someone in the shop talk to themselves. It goes like this:

While at a U.S. Air Force AUTOVON hub in Japan in the late 1970s, we had access to Model 490L Autovon switch. (Boy, now some of you really know I am dating myself). The switch was connected by inter-switch trunks to other switches worldwide. We would begin by jacking in directly to a satellite trunk from Japan to one of the international gateway hubs in Hawaii or California. From there, the call would progress via the commercial AT&T network across the United States, adding additional delay, to one of the international gateway hubs on the east coast. There was nothing in the network to prevent its picking up a second (or sometimes a third) satellite hop at this point that terminated in the U.K., Germany, Turkey, Italy, or anywhere else we had another switch.

We dialed up a loop back.

The call had by then traversed two or three satellite hops from Turkey, all the way back to Japan. By the time it got there, there was often a delay of two seconds or more. We would then patch the link to the home phone of any supervisor, which at that particular moment was not held in high esteem. At 3 AM. Picture the scenario:

Hello? (Silence)

Hello? (Silence)


About to hang up, but then HIS "hello" comes back at him—on a 1970s vintage analog circuit going 100,000 miles he could not tell it was his voice; only that it sounded like an international call. The next two or three minutes were invariably hilarious as the poor victim tried to establish contact with himself!

Victim: Hello? Response: Hello?

Victim: Who is this? Response: Hello?

Victim: Who is this? Response: Hello?

Victim: Who is this? Response: Who is this? (Now the "who is this" is coming back!)

After a few minutes of this, they eventually figured it out and went back to bed—but during the time we would usually have it on a speaker in the shop for everyone to enjoy. It was funnier than the Abbott and Costello’s "Who’s On First?" routine.

The point that I am trying to make is that delays in satellite transmission can obviously affect voice communications. How much delays affect data that previously used a landline should be a topic of discussion between you and the satellite vendor. If your equipment sends out short "blocks" of data before expecting an acknowledgment from the far end, however, it affects performance more over a satellite than long blocks will. Absent these kinds of concerns, which can be addressed by the satellite vendor, satellite can be a remarkable disaster recovery vehicle. Here’s why:

  • Ubiquitous coverage. A group of satellites can cover virtually the entire surface of the earth.
  • Instant infrastructure. Satellite service can be quickly provisioned to in areas in which there is no terrestrial infrastructure.
  • Independent of terrestrial infrastructure. Satellite service can provide additional bandwidth—on a diverse path—to provide redundancy as well as overflow capability during peak usage periods.
  • Temporary networks. As stated above, people like the military and Department of Homeland Security find satellite to be the only practical, short-term solution for getting critical information into and out of an area.
  • Rapid provisioning of services. Satellite services can be deployed quickly anywhere within the "footprint" of a satellite.
  • Disaster recovery. In times of widespread disaster such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or tsunamis, solutions provided via satellite may be more available and more reliable than land-based connections.

If you are looking for a great reference and "easy read" on this topic, download or order the First Responder’s Guide to Satellite Communications, published by the Satellite Industry Association (SIA).

I’ll be back again soon with more tips on how satellite communications can add immeasurably to your organization’s capability to recover after a disaster, including some actual examples of successful configurations. In the meantime, good luck in your planning and your pursuits!

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020