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StarBand is a two-way satellite broadband Internet service available in the U.S.. StarBand Communications Inc. was initially a joint venture between Gilat Satellite Networks, EchoStar and Microsoft, and the StarBand service was launched in 2000. StarBand Communications filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2002 and emerged from bankruptcy in 2003. In March 2005, StarBand Communications was acquired by Spacenet, a division of Gilat Satellite Networks, which continues to operate the service. As of mid-2005, StarBand had approximately 32,000 subscribers.

The StarBand satellite Internet system is a VSAT platform that uses Ku band satellites for transmission of data from users' PCs to the StarBand network operations center. Two-way bandwidth for residential users is up to 1.5 Mbit/s download speed and 256 kbit/s upload speed, with unlimited usage and online hours. A .75 meter satellite dish is needed; the antenna is sufficiently small that Home Owner Associations cannot prohibit its installation.

StarBand service is designed to provide a superior performance level although it is slightly more expensive than its WildBlue and HughesNet competitors.

Technology

StarBand offered the first residential two-way satellite Internet service in the United States market. Launched in November 2000, StarBand began selling the Gilat Satellite Networks SkyBlaster PCI card VSAT. Initially, the only way to purchase the StarBand system was to purchase a PC with the send/receive PCI card pre-installed as well as hosting software.

In 2001, StarBand began offering service using standalone VSAT units using the StarBand Model 180 (based on the Gilat Skystar Advantage/180 VSAT) connected via USB. The 180 modem was Windows OS-only because it required specialized Windows drivers for the USB interface.

In 2002, StarBand switched to Gilat's Model 360 VSAT which enabled higher speed and allowed USB or Ethernet connections, but still required driver software to communicate.

In 2003, StarBand introduced the Model 480 modem (based on the Gilat Skystar 360E VSAT), which connects via Ethernet, supports multiple computers/OSes and requires no additional software. The 48x series service supports Microsoft Windows PC, Macintosh, Unix and Linux computers. In late 2005, StarBand began selling only Model 480-based services.

In October 2006, StarBand introduced the its next-generation service, the StarBand Nova (based on the Gilat SkyEdge series). The StarBand Nova modems are capable of higher speeds, optimized for VoIP, VPN, and work on a more efficient hub. The SkyEdge modems have one Ethernet port and do not require hosting software for any OS platform.

Previously, StarBand supplied a .76M convergence antenna which picked up two Dish Network signals and the satellite internet signal. StarBand is now supplying a third generation .78M antenna, and users require a separate antenna to receive satellite television signals. The third generation antenna provides a longer focal length, which helps to create a better signal-to-noise ratio.

All satellite internet providers such as Star Band measure the amount of data you transfer. Starband's policy allows Nova 1500 users to transfer 4 gigabytes per week (Nova 1000: 1.4 GB) before the client's data packets are given lower priority, resulting in an effective decrease in speed. Starband does not monitor data usage between the hours of midnight and 6:00 AM [1]

External links

References

  1. ^ http://starband.com/acceptableuse.html
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