Satellite Internet Service in Panama

Monday, September 27 2004 @ 04:59 pm EDT

Contributed by: Anonymous

Don invited me to post an article on my experiences with trying to establish satellite Internet service here in Panama. The "official" word from Hughes/DirecWay is that they do not support it here. Unofficially, I have found that it might work here with a larger than standard dish.

There are at least two distributors of the DirecWay service who will provide the service to any one, any where they can get a signal lock. I am in the process of testing that now.

Meanwhile, I aready have a 1 way system working great here in Volcan. The service is from the same company I will get the 2 way service from. For more information on it, go to

They have recently sold their 1 way service to IsoTropic Networks, Inc. It remains the same in every way, including price.

The equipment used for it is the same as you would use to receive DVB TV, except for the receiver. In fact, you can also receive Free to Air, digital TV channels on the same equipment, but there are no interesting digital channels, in the clear, on Satmex-5. The equipment is described at that web site. There are several receivers that will work. None of them are proprietary in any way, and they are all under $200.00. It is based on DVB-IP, if you are familiar with that. You also need at least a 4 foot dish, which costs around $200.00 new, and less if used.

The total cost for my system with all new equipment and shipping was under $500.00.

My outbound iink is by Cable & Wireless dialup, but it could also be with the BellSouth wireless Internet service instead, if you do not have telephone lines in your area.

The problem of rain fade is exagerated by most people. My experience is that with my 4 foot dish, it is as reliable as my DirecTV reception. It only loses signal during extremely heavy downpours. Usually for only 5-10 minutes at a time, 2 or 3 times a week. It is FAR more reliable than my dialup link, which drops connection every hour, rain OR shine.

That is about it in a nutshell. I wll keep everyone posted on my progress with the 2 way system testing.

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