The Evolution of High-Speed Satellite Internet


Satellite internet technology has evolved significantly over the past few decades. There are many technological evolutions that have made high-speed satellite internet possible, and satellite internet providers are capitalizing on these and other new technologies to define the future of the service. To understand how satellite internet service evolved into what it is today, it’s helpful to look back at the origins of satellite technology.

The History of Satellites

Did you know that satellite service technology has its origins in the Space Race between the Soviet Union and the United States? In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first satellite, Sputnik, into orbit, which was followed shortly by the United States’ Explorer 1 satellite in 1958. Although the first satellites were launched for logistical and defense reasons, as the years progressed, satellites took on more diverse roles, such as when Bell Labs launched the first commercial communications satellite in 1962.

Geostationary Orbit

The technology of satellites has improved significantly with the advent of geostationary orbit. A satellite in geostationary orbit remains in a fixed position above the Equator and mimics Earth’s rotation. The first of these satellites was launched in 1963 by Hughes Aircraft Company (now Hughes Network Systems, LLC), whose success jumpstarted the development of satellite technology, including for television broadcasting, telecommunications, and military applications.

Satellites for Internet Service

The invention of the World Wide Web created a new role for satellites in communications. In 1993 (only 3 years after the code for the World Wide Web was released), Hughes Aircraft Company filed for a license with the FCC to develop SPACEWAY, the first Ka-band satellite, which was later launched by Hughes Network Systems, Inc. in 2005. After the success of this launch, the FCC called for more companies to get involved in satellite internet service, opening up the industry to more companies.

High-Throughput Satellite Internet Service

Today, advances in technology have led to high-throughput satellites with faster speeds and lower latency than previous satellites used for high-speed internet service. Almost all satellite internet providers use high-throughput satellite technology to provide internet service to homes and businesses internationally. For more information about how satellite internet is connecting the world, check out our post about global satellite applications.

Satellite technology has come a long way since its beginnings during the Space Race, and advancements continue to lead to more applications in our everyday lives. Just one of those applications is high-speed satellite Internet service, which will continue to improve as new technology is introduced.