Satellite renaissance

In case you’ve been wondering who to thank (or strangle) for today’s monster broadband, look no further than the satellite industry. Okay, fiber gets some credit, too. But it’s a relative newcomer to the broadband market when compared to satellite.

Satellites were the original, curiously strong broadband. Proto-broadband, if you will.

For many, many moons, dumb satellites have served smart broadband to panoply of bandwidth-gobbling applications. Broadcasting video, audio and data is the most obvious example of how satellite services deliver broadband solutions. More recently, we’ve watched satellite broadband serve ISP markets. And it looks as though streaming video and audio will call upon satellite broadband.

Satellites offer a solution for broadband applications.

The term broadband combines those tasty elements of a digital broadcast world with the spice and verve of the Internet. Broadband is far more rooted in reality than convergence. And it kicks multimedia’s butt. Broadband represents a super-evolution of communications.

I don’t want to wrap broadband in too much poetry, but here’s the deal: Twenty years ago, satellites didn’t sport the broadband label, but by today’s standards, broadband is precisely the market satellites have served. And now broadband is it. It’s in. It’s hip. And we’ve got it.

The satellite industry is entering a new phase. Over the course of 20 years, we at Satellite Communications have watched the satellite industry morph from an equipment-based industry to a services-based industry. The vague cache of building satellite busses has given way to a world obsessed with network services.

So I think I can say with a high degree of certainty that, thanks to the Internet, satellite services are almost sexy.

Gone are the days when the satellite industry operated under an air of protectionism and a philosophy of “us satellites vs. them fibers” or “us satellites vs. everyone else.” It’s a whole new attitude. And it’s going to be epic.

Bye-bye military mentality. Hello broadband.

The new era is not about communications via satellite; it’s about broadband access. And satellites figure prominently in the new landscape.

Broadband is about having a healthy disrespect for authority and integrating satellites into fiber; and combining broadcasting and the Internet. It’s about improving business through the addition of satellite capacity. It’s about understanding entrepreneurs. It’s about exploiting satellite resources. It’s about satellite solutions.

And so after waxing poetic about broadband for far too long, I would like to introduce you to the super-evolution of this magazine. Satellite Communications magazine staffers are all fluffed up with excitement over our new name, new look and new editorial. Beginning next month, Satellite Communications becomes Satellite Broadband.

To support our changes in both content and design, we have built an ace staff: Associate editor Peter Jakel joins us from the newspaper world. Award-winning designer Jani Duncan will capture the look and feel of broadband as our new art director.

It is truly a renaissance for satellite services and Satellite Communications.

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