Further to the feature on communication links (NCE 6 September), it seems appropriate to broaden the debate about satellite-based broadband transmission systems.
There appear to be misconceptions about what a 56k modem actually means in terms of speed. Research shows that a 56k modem downloads information at 10MB/hour - about one fifth of its connection speed.
And while a broadband service of 512k is faster, this may be shared with up to 50 other businesses.
A satellite-based system, on the other hand, can deliver 2MB of capacity to a single user. In contrast to a 56k modem, a 10MB file can be downloaded in one minute.
A satellite dish can be set-up in one hour to transmit and receive data and is independent of the terrestrial system. It is also wireless friendly, enables cheap video conferencing and is economic to install and operate.
Dynamic conservatism - or the ability to fight like mad to stay the same - is part of civil engineering culture. Modern life demands diversity, less travel and above all flexibility.
Satellite-based data transmission systems are an essential component in achieving those ends.
John Sewell (M), North South, info@northsouthcom.