Readers take issue with the claim that “the only time latency becomes an issue is for a gamer.” A professor of computer networking who “co-authored one of the standards used in voice over Internet communications” writes:
The article you quoted by Jon Brodkin on satellite broadband is flat out wrong. It is not only gamers who suffer from half-second latency. 150 milliseconds is the maximum delay that you want for voice over Internet. Anything over that is definitely noticeable and anything over 400 milliseconds is flat-out unacceptable. With half-second delays, meaning 500 milliseconds, each speaker has to wait to be sure the other has heard, people talk over each other, it is a mess. There really is no debate on this in the scientific or telecommunications communities.
Another cites issues with latency and virtual private networks (VPNs):
Another gotcha on the latency issues affects telecommuters and other remote workers seeking to use a corporate VPN. Many corporate VPNs can’t tolerate the latency, so folks (like me) who work from (our) rural homes can’t use satellite services to connect to our offices.
Another gets pissed:
While I imagine most Dishheads would click through and give the Ars Technica article you linked to a close read, and would have thus seen some of the caveats raised in both the article itself and in the top comments on it, looking to satellite Internet as a panacea for our sluggish broadband penetration rate — as your post seemed to me to do, intentionally or not — is folly. The forums and user reviews at DSLReports for satellite ISPs are rife with complaints about punitive data caps and/or metering schemes, terrible customer service, outrageous pricing, and unreliable connectivity. See here for ViaSat, mentioned in the Ars post; here for HughesNet; and here for WildBlue.
I could rant on and on about the myriad disgraces of our nation’s telecommunications service providers, but I’m channeling my frustrations toward them into finding a job where I can help, in some way, to bring affordable, fast, uncapped broadband to everyone in the country. (As a recent college graduate [and "digital native"] living at home with a 1.5Mbps up/768Kbps DSL connection, you could say I’m triply motivated to find such a career.) It’s about time more of us started getting pissed off about our dismal standing in global broadband penetration and speed rankings – and letting our legislators know it.