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Japan launchs the super speedy WINDS satellite that promises data speeds of up to a blazing 1.2 Gbps.  (Source: JAXA)
It looks like satellite internet may have the last laugh over cable

The speed increase yielded by the adoption of broadband throughout much of the U.S. today has been largely taken for granted, due to the poor quality of service.  However, for the estimated 27 million Americans who use DSL connections, the absent luxury of speed is readily apparent. 

While DSL can meet some users’ needs, the slower data speeds leave many users unhappy with the experience.  However, many subscribers in rural areas have no alternatives as cable internet infrastructure has not spread to much of the rural U.S.

A new JAXA satellite, which promises to bring rural subscribers’ connections up to speed, launched last Saturday from Japan's Yoshinobu Launch Complex at the Tanegashima Space Center.  The new satellite, named WINDS, promises "super high-speed Internet" throughout the world.  It was developed as a joint project between Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

The satellite promises residential internet subscribers the ability to use small dishes to connect to the Internet many times faster than speeds current DSL or cable connections.  According to the Associated Press the satellite will provide data transmission at rates up to 1.2 Gbps.  The service will initially focus on the Asia-Pacific region, covering such high-tech giants as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and likely China.  However, if the service catches on, U.S. providers will be certain to want North American coverage as well.

While the massive satellite may not have the capacity to cover both Asia and North America's high speed internet needs, similar satellites should be forthcoming if needed.  JAXA meanwhile is proud to be leading the way.  In a press release, the organization plugged the satellites utility, stating, "Among other uses, this will make possible great advances in telemedicine, which will bring high-quality medical treatment to remote areas, and in distance education, connecting students and teachers separated by great distances."

It remains to be seen if American telecoms are able to use the new speedy satellite, but development certainly seems indicative of Internet connections to come.  It looks like in the world of internet satellite service may have the last laugh over land lines -- on sunny days at least.





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