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Service Providers >> TooWay and KA-SAT satellite >> Replacing SkyDSL with Tooway?

Message started by Khazi22 on Oct 22nd, 2008 at 11:29am

Title: Replacing SkyDSL with Tooway?
Post by Khazi22 on Oct 22nd, 2008 at 11:29am
'Morning, all.  First post, so bear with me, as it's a bit waffly.

We live in the wilds of central southern France, without the benefit of Broadband.  When we arrived last year, we settled for dial-up in the absence of anything else.

After a month or two, we started looking for alternatives, including satellite.  At the time, bi-directional was prohibitively expensive, so we opted for the SkyDSL hybrid service.  The service obviously is an improvement on dial-up, but otherwise not great, and also expensive.  In additon we have needed a dial-up ISP for the uplink, and a separate land line.  All of which combined works out at around just under 100 Euros a month.

The Sky DSL service, obviously has a FUP, but isn't exactly itemised anywhere.  We find the download speeds erratic, varying from about just over 1 Mbs, down to less than 1 Kbs, in an erratic roller coaster pattern - often the best we can get is hours at a few Kbs.  On our package, they allege that 24 Mbs is available, but we've never even achieved 2 Mbs!  They charge extra per Mbs for their "Gear 2" service, but again, we've never got above 2 Mbs.  All a bit of a con it seems.

Whilst not expecting anything wonderful from any alternative satellite system, I sincerely hope we can do better than this elsewhere.

We have investigated the Tooway system via Numeo, who are obviously Franchisees around here.  They don't have a very good reputation for customer service (particularly with the Wimax system they are currently running in France), and it is very difficult to get them to respond to enquiries.

Anyway, they have introduced this Tooway package, but I am confused by their pricing structure.  Last month they offered two alternatives - the Ka package with 348 Kbs upload & 2.4 Mbs download, for 34.99 Euros, and a Ku package with 128 Kbs/2.4 Mbs download for 29.99 Euros.

This month, it seems, there is only one system available, which seems to be the Ka (higher upload)system, but now reduced to 29.99 Euros.  And no fixed 12 month contract, either.

This seems to fly in the teeth of other suppliers, who are charging around 70 Euros, including a 12 month contract.

Now, I could do with a little advice, here.  Does anyone have any experience of Numeo, and are they being realistic, or should I steer well clear?  If so, what are the sensible alternatives, and can I expect to fare better with bi-directional, than with my existing set up?

Ideally I need a system which can realisticly cope with average downloads of up to 15 Gb a month (aren't these FUPs stupidly restrictive?), but I suppose that's way over the top for satellite...

So, basically, is Tooway worth investigating, and are there alternative franchise holders in this neck of the woods?

Your patience is much appreciated.


Title: Re: Replacing SkyDSL with Tooway?
Post by Eric Johnston on Oct 22nd, 2008 at 12:32pm

I suggest you also get quotes from Bentley Walker and El Molino for the Tooway service.

Tooway is a single service provided by Eutelsat/Skylogic from Turin, Italy but you do not communicate with Skylogic or pay them directly.  You need to go via resellers.  If you choose Bentley Walker or El Molino you have the advantage of a helpful intermediary working on your behalf.

Note that the Tooway BASIC tariff the low price consumer level service.  If you want to download larger amounts consider the fair access allowances.  Example:

BRONZE tariff allowances (re-calculated every 5 minutes), before slow down is applied:
53 Mbytes in 1 hour
100 Mbytes in 4 hours = 25 Mbytes per hour
300 Mbytes in 24 hours (day) = 12.5 Mbytes per hour
800 Mbytes in 168 hours (week) = 4.7 Mbytes per hour
2000 Mbytes in 672 hours (4 weeks) = 2.9 Mbytes per hour

If you thinking of 15 Gbytes per month you need to consider the Tooway GOLD tariff or a more business oriented service such as Bentley Walker HX service. See: for various tariffs up to 198 Gbytes per month.

The FUPs are not stupidly restrictive.  They are there to make sure that you get your fair share of the satellite resource available - which costs about $7000 per month per Mbit/s to provide.  If you pay less than this then your share is less.  You get what you pay for and this is rather obvious in the case of the very c******t services where very many users may be sharing, e.g. several 1000s of users sharing a 24 Mbit/s downlink or 100 users sharing a 1 Mbit/s downlink.

Best regards, Eric.

Title: Re: Replacing SkyDSL with Tooway?
Post by Khazi22 on Oct 22nd, 2008 at 2:29pm
Thanks for your reply, Eric.  I have contacted both of the links you suggested, and await a response from each.

My comment about "stupid" FUP restrictions is subjective - in the UK, obviously, we had the benefit of proper ADSL, and it is a source of great frustration here to have ones downloads limited in this way. A few gigabytes of download availability is soon used up!

Also I am intrigued with your hourly use breakdown - I was under the impression that you could download your monthly quota all at once, if necessary, and only be throttled once the limit had been reached.  So it seems that an hourly rate is calculated, and the throttling occurs thereafter.  Didn't realise that.  I've obviously got a lot to learn.


Title: Re: Replacing SkyDSL with Tooway?
Post by Eric Johnston on Oct 22nd, 2008 at 2:54pm
On Tooway, the sliding-window hourly used amount is re-calculated every 5 minutes.  They have other, longer, sliding time periods also. The various Basic, Bronze, Silver and Gold tariffs have different Mbytes for each period.  We have only discovered the Bronze and Silver allowances so far. Ref forum message: Tooway FAP allowances

On Bentley Walker HX, you have fixed 8 hour periods and start each period at full speed.

Best regards, Eric.

Title: Re: Replacing SkyDSL with Tooway?
Post by on Oct 22nd, 2008 at 3:33pm
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