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How Satellite Internet Works 

Satellite Internet is the ability to transmit and receive data from a relatively small satellite dish on Earth and communicate with an orbiting geostationary satellite 36,000 kilometers above Earth's Equator.

The satellite transmits and receives its information to a single location called the Network Operations Center or NOC (pronounced "knock"). The NOC itself is connected to the Internet (or private network), so all communication made to the Internet must all flow through the NOC.

Data communication via satellite is not much different than someone using a land based data provider, at least from the end-users standpoint. The key to remember is that once the satellite system is configured by the installer, the service acts nearly identically as any other data service and may be configured as such

Issues Affecting Satellite Signals

  • EIRP - dBW and Dish Size- Effective Isotropic Radiated Power in the footprint (Measured in dBW decibel watts), it represent the signal strength from the satellite onto the Earth. The higher the dBW, the greater the signal strength. If you have a region with a low dBW level, you may have to use a larger satellite dish in order to receive the signal.
  • Satellite Latency, It takes time for a satellite signal to be sent from your dish to the orbiting satellite back down to Earth, and back to your computer again. This is also called a "Ping Time". The speed of light is 186,000 miles per second and the orbiting satellite is 36,000 KM above earth. Calculated out, satellite latency is roughly 500 milliseconds (0.5 of a second), which is not a lot of time, but some applications don’t like this time delay. It is important to know if Satellite Latency will affect the way you will use the Internet. A common misconception is that latency has an effect on transfer rate. This is not true. A one Megabyte file will transfer just as quick over a 1000Kbps satellite connection as it does over a 1000Kbps terrestrial connection. It just takes the satellite connection less than a second for the file to begin transferring.
  • CIR - Committed Information Rate, CIR is a term often used in the satellite industry. It simply means what the satellite operator is committed in guaranteeing your lowest speed. Normally CIR is 1:1, which means that you are not sharing your data channel with any other subscriber, and that max speeds are available 100% of the time. YahClick service plans are not based on CIR, but are a shared service.

How We Deliver High-Speed Internet


  • When the user requests access to content from the application on their PC (Email, Web, Music etc.), the application generates a packet of data containing the request
  • The request is routed by the HughesNet modem via the antenna assembly and satellite to its Gateway
  • The Gateway location of a particular modem is fixed and determined based on its physical location
  • The HughesNet modem and Gateway now have an active session to exchange data
  • Gateway then routes the request to Internet via terrestrial Internet links
  • The appropriate server(s) on the Internet process this request and return the content as desired by the user in packet of data
  • Gateway returns the content packets to requesting modem which then forwards it to the connected PCPC then routes the content to application for end user consumption
    • Specific PC that generated the request in case multiple PCs are connected
  • PC then routes the content to application for end user consumption


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