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Frequently asked questions


What is broadband?

Broadband means, very simply, a high-speed connection to the Internet that is 'always on'. It is significantly faster than the dial-up ( 56K) modems enabling you to view web content and download files more quickly. It's called broadband because it has a much larger capacity to receive (and send) data.

Can I really get reliable Satellite Broadband anywhere in the UK?

Yes – it really is as simple as that. Satellite Broadband is available ANYWHERE in the UK (and mainland Europe as alert alert-success). As long as there is electricity, we can get you connected to Broadband wherever you need it.

How do I choose the service that's right for me?

This will depend on what you will be using broadband for. Most Satellite Broadband packages are based around how much you use it. If you are using it for general surfing and emailing from home or a small office, our service could be the right, cost-effective solution for you.

How much data is required for common uses?

Under normal conditions, you can use the following information as a guideline:-

Download  GB Required 
2 Music Albums  0.1GB
5 Min Video Clip on YouTube  0.1GB
Low definition movie  0.75GB
40 hours of web surfing 1.0GB
8 hours of internet radio 1.0GB
DVD quality movie 4.5GB

Am I charged for the time my broadband modem or computer is online? 

No. With our broadband packages, you pay a fixed amount each month, no matter how often you use it.

Does Satellite Broadband have any limitations I should be aware of?

There are a few specialised uses that it is important to choose the correct system for but other than that, there is not much difference between satellite and other broadband services. Unlike some of our competitors, our packages accept a direct connection to Apple, Linux, Unix or Windows NT operating systems.

Our Satellite Broadband Satellite Broadband packages are not really suitable for:

  • Heavy uplink traffic, such as Web or FTP hosting
  • Certain VPN applications
  • Online gaming and peer-to-peer networking

Ninehundred Communications Satellite Broadband system does not currently support “watch again” portals like BBC iPlayer but we are working on a solution.

If you want to do one or more of the above, please talk to us about a recommendation based on your circumstances.

Ninehundred Communications Satellite Broadband Service

What is Satellite Broadband?

Satellite Broadband is part of Ninehundred Communications Site Solutions Division which provides internet service via satellite in orbit. A reliable 6, 8 or 10Mbps Broadband connection is now available wherever you live. Satellite Broadband offers a range of four monthly download packages which means that you only need to pay for the service that is most suitable to your needs.

Why should I choose Ninehundred Communications and Satellite Broadband?

Ninehundred Communications are one of the UK’s largest independent communications providers. Established in 1979, our experienced installers work throughout the UK. We are accredited by the British Standards Institute (BSI) to ISO 9001 (Quality), Safe Contractor approved (Health and Safety) and members of the Federation of Communication Services (FCS).

What equipment do I need?

You supply the computer, our trained Installation Engineer will install the satellite dish and connect it to a modem.

How fast is Satellite Broadband?

All Satellite Broadband packages operate at a reliable download speed. Satellite Broadband works in a different way to a normal (ADSL) connection in that you don’t “share” your connection with your neighbours.

You may have read in the press that many people that use ADSL pay for a system that consistently fails to deliver the speed that they are paying for. For example, a recent Ofcom study proved that the average speed achieved by ADSL customers buying an 8Mbps service was in fact 3.6Mbps. Therefore an 8Mbps Satellite Broadband connection is more than twice the speed of an 8Mb/s ADSL package.

Can I install it myself?

No, you can’t (unless you are trained and accredited VSAT installation engineer). Because Satellite Broadband not only receives data from a satellite (much like Sky) but transmits data back to the satellite, it is crucial that your system is installed by a trained and accredited Satellite Broadband Technician.

Are email and other services included?

Satellite Broadband supports the usual webmail applications like Hotmail, Gmail, MSN and Yahoo but if you use an email client (E.g. Microsoft Outlook) you will require the use of an SMTP server to send your mail, as many ISP’s allow you to receive email but block you from sending. If that sounds like technical mumbo jumbo, yes you will get an email address and yes, we’re happy to show you exactly how it works.

If you need email sending services we would be happy to recommend a third-party provider.

Do I need a phone line?

No, you do not.

Are there any minimum requirements for computers?

No, most computers these days come with a network card or wireless option which will allow you to connect to the internet.

Can I integrate Satellite Broadband into a network?

Yes, it’s possible to connect the modem directly to a router, or other network LAN device, to share the connection with other users. We can supply you with a suitable router with wireless capability.

Can I use a wireless router with Satellite Broadband?

Yes. With a wireless router, anyone at your location can access the Broadband connection without needing to physically connect to the modem (hence “wireless”). We are happy to help you set this up properly (without any extra charges) when we install your system to make sure it is both secure and working properly. The wireless router box may say “plug and play” but in our experience, it’s nice to let someone who knows what they’re doing do the “plugging” and leave you to enjoy the “playing”. We’re happy to recommend a wireless router if you need our help.

Can I connect more than one user to the service?

Yes. Unlike some of our competitors, it is possible to connect the equipment directly to a router, or other network LAN devices, to share the connection with other users. See the answer above about using a wireless router that will enable you to share your connection with multiple users.

Can I play online games with Satellite Broadband?

We do not recommend Satellite Broadband for online gaming due to something called latency (i.e. the time it takes the signal to get up and down from a satellite 22,000 miles high). If you are desperate to do online gaming in a remote location, our best advice is to talk to our team about some of the Business Solutions that we offer.

Can I use this equipment with my Apple Mac or Linux computer?

Yes. With all our services connection via non-Microsoft Windows, platforms are straightforward.

Are there limits to how much data I can transfer?

Yes, each service is subject to a Fair Use Policy (FUP). The FUP has been designed to be as open and flexible as possible while ensuring fair use for all users. Unlike other services, where hard transfer limits apply over which you are charged per additional MB, we employ a Fair Use Policy. In summary, this means that during peak usage times, heavier users of the service will experience some reduction in their connection speed, ensuring equitable access for all users throughout the day. There are no hidden charges.

What is a Fair Use Policy? 

The Fair Access Policy has been defined by our Satellite Provider to enable each user to receive a high-quality internet access service via Satellite. The FUP is implemented to prevent unfair use and unacceptable use of the network.

Does the Fair Use Policy apply to both upload and download?

Yes, traffic volume is measured on both the inbound and outbound connection.

What is the priority traffic?

Priority traffic is the amount of traffic that can be used (upload and download) before a restriction is applied.

What is my priority in traffic usage?

This depends on the monthly service option. Please use the table above to check the services.

What happens if I exceed my traffic usage, will I be cut off?

No, you will not be cut off but your bandwidth will be reduced until you come out of restriction. This is to help maintain the quality of service for all users.

Is the Fair Use Policy applied 24 hours a day?

Yes, there is however a night time policy where only 50% of the total transferred data volume is counted in the calculation. This is from the hours of 12 midnight till 6 am.

Can I check how much traffic I am using?

Yes, you can request a copy of your FUP graph from our support team. We are also working on an online facility and hope to have this service available in the near future.

Can I get more advice on the Fair Use Policy?

Yes, a member of our support team will be happy to discuss any questions you may have.

Is the equipment/service mobile - can I use it at different locations?

If you are looking for a transportable system that can be fixed to a vehicle please check our mobile system section.

Will I need to buy any extra software?

As your broadband connection is 'always on', it is a good idea to install firewall software to protect you from any attempts by hackers to access the files on your computer. Ninehundred strongly recommends that you install suitable Firewall and Antivirus software to protect your computer from unauthorised access from the internet. For example, ZoneAlarm is a handy personal firewall application, free for personal use (see You will also need software as for any other service such as your Internet Browser and Email Client Software. Commercial and free packages are available and suitable and we're happy to advise you on this subject.

(My) Installation

Please see our “How It Works” page for more information on the hardware and the installation.

Do I require planning permission or other permits?

Though conditions may vary slightly from county to county, normally planning permission is not required for your satellite dish provided you do not have other dishes on your building. If your building is a protected historical building official permits will be required. Also, if your location is within a short distance of an airfield or similar, special conditions may apply. It is your responsibility to understand and comply with the rules and regulations regarding the placement of equipment on the building you occupy. However, since it is what we do for a living, we’re always pleased to offer you advice based upon our knowledge and experience but any final decisions & responsibility do remain with you.

Do I need my landlord's permission?

If you do not own the building where the equipment is to be installed, you must get written authorisation from the landlord approving the installation. We will normally require a copy of this prior to installation.

What happens if/when I move?

We are happy to advise on de-installation and re-installation charges. Moving the antenna/dish to another location, whether on the same building or otherwise, must be undertaken by an approved installer.

When planning your first installation, please give careful consideration to the location of your dish to minimise the likelihood of requiring a move.

Must I purchase the equipment?

No. To receive the broadband service it is necessary to have the satellite dish and relevant modem. You can purchase or rent the equipment at the time of order.

How long will it take to get installed and operational?

We usually get customers installed within two working weeks. We do need to get all of your order paperwork correctly completed before we can start. This includes your Service Agreement, Direct Debit Mandate and Initial Payment for the hardware and installation. Our team will telephone you to carry-out Pre-Installation Survey and arrange a convenient installation date.

What does a Standard Installation consist of?

The standard installation allowed for in the Initial Fee is as follows: mounting on a standard brick or block wall at a height reachable on a standard double extension ladder, and not more than 30m from the proposed location of the modem.

What equipment do I need for broadband?

Put simply, a satellite dish (outdoors) and a small modem (indoors). Generally, we provide a 96cm dish, however, in some locations, a larger dish may be required to ensure strong signal strength. You will be advised in advance if a larger dish is necessary and if any additional costs apply.

Technical Questions

I've heard of latency issues with satellite - what does this mean?

Due to the distance travelled by the signal to/from your computer and the Internet Hub, via the satellite, older satellite technologies exhibited a noticeable lag between communications. Our latest Satellite Broadband services employ software techniques to minimise this lag, including an Internet Protocol Accelerator (“ IPA”). In use, when a web page is requested, for example, the IPA strips out surplus protocol data and requests and retrieves the page in fewer larger 'pieces', than a typical dialup connection for example which assembles the page piece by piece. Similarly, this technique is ideal for handling large file or email downloads.

Why does ping not work/give a very slow response?

Due to latency, when a network tool like ping typically sends small data packets, this accentuates this issue. Try using ping -t -w 2000 'address' to get around this problem. In our experience, there are much better and more reliable ways of testing for this type of network.

How can I check what download/upload performance I am getting?

Click on the "Speed Test" button at the top right of each page on this website.

Do I need additional software?

No, as the Satellite Broadband service is designed to be plug n’ play. We do however advise you to use a hardware or software firewall and an anti-virus program.

If you are using a router then this will mask your ports and act as a basic firewall. If you don't have a router and/or you want a second line of defence, try downloading Zone Alarm for a free firewall.

In addition to a firewall, you must run some form of anti-virus software on any system that is connected to the internet all, or most, of the time. AVG anti-virus offers a free product that is worth a look, and there are many others from Norton, Sophos etc.

PLEASE NOTE: The above download links are offered for information only. Ninehundred Communications are not responsible for any content not on this website or software you choose to download and install and can therefore not offer any support for the above products.

Does the satellite service get affected by weather?

The standard dish installation is designed to withstand 60mph winds. Clouds and showers have little impact on satellite communications. However, torrential rain may cause degraded service in extreme conditions as signals are reflected a little by rain. Our systems automatically increase power levels to compensate for losses.

What happens if there is a power failure?

Unless you have a backup power supply you will lose service until power is restored to the modem.

Please get in touch with us for further assistance.


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Ninehundred Communications Group is a trading style of Ninehundred Communications Group Limited.

Registered in England:
Company Registration Number 01741966
VAT Number 182 9893 08
White Rose Way, Doncaster Carr, Doncaster, DN4 5JH | Tel: 01302 368866

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