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NPO Kandahar WISP

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Oct 31st, 2010 at 12:54pm  
Hi all, I am a soldier currently deployed to KAF afghanistan for a year and am thinking of getting a satellite to provide internet for the soldiers of my unit that live in the same building as I.

We currently have internet through IO Global who has a contract with aafes, we pay $70 a month and they provide us with pppoe connection to a supposedly 128/64 connection. The problem is it is agonizingly slow!!!! Fastest I have seen it go is 12-14kbps. We have no other options lest we buy our own dish.

I am looking into buying an idirect evolution package, and two ubiquiti picostations for the setup. the building is about 180 feet long 30 feet wide and divided into seven rooms with 6 people each. So I figure if I put one AP on each end of the hall we should be good.

I am fairly computer savvy but I would not know how to setup my own radius server or setup pppoe. So I was planning on using the sputnik client with dd-wrt to handle that part using their services. I am pretty much trying to set it up so I break even or close to it, I certainly don't want to come home poorer. I cannot have wires/holes everywhere either so I decided to go the wireless route. I also think that doing it this way would be much more convenient for the soldiers, I won't have to hassle them to pay or handle cash or anything like that.

I do not know what kind of connection we would need in order to have better performance than we are getting now. I am looking to provide for about 30 users, no more than 10-15 at a time probably with a handful using Voip. I was looking at service through TS2 using Eutelsat W6 and connection of 2048/1024 at 10:1 contention, I am unsure if that would outperform a 1024/256 4:1 contention ratio as my knowledge and experience of satellite internet is limited. I was trying to avoid high contention ratio and having a FAP.

I would greatly appreciate any feedback you can offer, Thank you.

v/r

SPC Sanchez
Kandahar Airfield Afghanistan
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Reply #1 - Oct 31st, 2010 at 1:58pm  
Dear SPC Sanchez,

When you say 12-14, do you really mean kbps or kilobytes per second? If the latter, then 12 * 8 = 96 kbps (kilobits per second) which is probably in line what you are buying. I doubt you are offered 128/64 dedicated CIR, in other words, a link that is guaranteed to perform at 128/64 on a 24/7 basis. Most probably the bandwidth is shared among multiple subscribers, so that's why you can't burst to 128/64. If you've really meant 12-14 kilobits per second then it's painfully slow indeed.

A different question is would a 2048/1024 10:1 link shared among 30 persons be faster than 128/64 per person? I think definitely yes. You are not capped at 128/64, so whenever free bandwidth is available on the link you will be able to burst much higher than 128/64. Our practice shows that 2048/1024 10:1 is a good choice for 20-30 persons. Notice that 10:1 means that a common satellite resource is shared among 10 remote VSAT terminals. That is, your 2048/1024 10:1 link will not provide a guaranteed 2048/1024 throughput all the time. The quality of satellite service you are to receive depends on how well the satellite ISP manages its bandwidth. What if each of those ten VSAT terminals have 10 PCs? The service will be pretty good. What if it has 50 or 100 PCs? This leads to a conclusion that the contention ratio alone is not enough to define a reliable quality criteria. That is, there may be both good and bad 1:10 services, with the same bit rates.

FAP helps to control how bandwidth is shared and assures everybody gets a fair piece of the pie, however it's a double edged sword. Once you exceed the allowable FAP traffic limit (per day or per hour), your VSAT system turns into a pumpkin for some 'cool down' time. That is the problem: the buyer needs to know his traffic levels in advance in order to go with a FAP service. When you use a system for recreational purposes, you often don't know much on the actual traffic demands. Alternative thinking would be to go with a service with FAP, however knowing you will be required to upgrade at any time.

My company offers shared services with no FAP. This is a policy we implemented from the beginning. There are other satellite providers that provide FAP-less services. Instead of FAP, we exercise control on how the customer is going to use a service. That is, we will not allow somebody to subscribe a 1,000 PCs Internet Cafe on a 2048/1024 1:10 link. Our decision thresholds depend on the estimates on how many PCs there are in the network, what is the environment, how many VoIP lines are there, whether there are any additional requirements like VPN, videoconferencing, etc. We base our decision on a guessed estimate on how much traffic to expect per each PC in the network. I can elaborate more on this if you are interested, however it is sufficient to say this approach works well for us and that the churn rate among our customers is pretty low.

I will send you an e-mail with what we can offer to you shortly. Feel free to ask me any more details in public if you like.
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Reply #2 - Nov 2nd, 2010 at 2:56pm  
Dear Sir

We at Bentley Walker have an excellent solution operating our own Hughes and iDirect NOC's - I have sent you more information directly to your email.

We offer a fast delivery and are confident you will find our Hughes & iDirect services with a suitable package, along with this we can offer you exclusive monitoring of your network, including traffics graphs and throughput usage which can be enabled locally or remotely.

Look forward to hearing from you.
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Reply #3 - Nov 27th, 2010 at 7:46pm  
hello sir...
we have good offers for you we can apply and serve you by the best way, please contact me by email if you still want the internet service
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