Estimate of satellite vs. Land-based traffic

Frank Bulk frnkblk at
Wed Jan 7 15:06:42 UTC 2009

I lived in a Caribbean country where, at the time, most of their LD traffic
was over satellite.  While people didn't like it, there were times that
there was no public off-island access for a few hours at a time.  It's just
a fact of life, and people get used to it.  Those who don't buy a satellite


-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Donner [mailto:pdonner at] 
Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2009 2:00 AM
To: Sean Donelan
Cc: nanog at
Subject: Re: Estimate of satellite vs. Land-based traffic

Satellites often sit at the edge of the network.  The "orbital last
mile" for individual users as well as in-country (Africa for e.g.) ISPs
and Enterprise networks.  When they go, often there is no backup (except
maybe another satellite connection).

Sean Donelan wrote:
> On Tue, 6 Jan 2009, Paul Donner wrote:
>> WRT Kevin's query, if you are concerned about a solar incident and
>> it's affects on satcom, you might want to take a look at what user
>> base (e.g. which mobile users and what impact loss of comm will have
>> on what they are doing) is affected rather than understanding the
>> volumes that are affected as this might provide a much more thorough
>> understanding of any impact.  But that is merely my two cents worth.
> Yep, consider the Galaxy IV satellite incident.  The loss of a single
> satellite had a significant impact on its user population for several
> days/month.  Other satellites can be moved into an orbital slot, and
> dishes can be re-pointed; but Galaxy IV lead to some interesting (i.e.
> unexpected to some users) failures.  I'm not sure how many hospitals
> realized their "in-house" pager systems relied on a satellite.

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