The Rural Mobile and Broadband Alliance (RuMBA) USA released a whitepaper on satellite Internet service that finds that, when measured against the prevailing definition of broadband, satellite technology falls far short of conventional wired and wireless alternatives, mainly due to latency, bandwidth, price, performance and service shortcomings.

"Given the limitations of satellite Internet service detailed in this report, RuMBA cannot consider satellite a viable solution for rural communities who are increasingly cut off from mainstream America by the lack of access to affordable broadband service," says Luisa Handem, founder and Managing Director of RuMBA USA.

"There is every indication that America's reliance on broadband is only going to increase, especially in the areas of business, education, healthcare, government and entertainment, so it is vital that America's rural communities have all the facts before deciding on broadband access, and delivering those facts is what this paper is about," says Sascha Meinrath, Director of Open Technology Initiative, New America Foundation.

Key Findings:

* The latency inherent in satellite Internet connections limits their use for standard broadband functions such as Voice over IP (VoIP) and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

* The capacity limits of satellite Internet service rule out broadband functionality taken for granted by Americans living in communities served by cable, fiber optic, and DSL services. These functions include automatic software updates, online backup, streaming video, telecommuting, and website hosting.

* Notwithstanding those limitations satellite Internet service is less affordable than wired Internet service.

The whitepaper titled "Satellite Internet Connection for Rural Broadband: Is it a viable alternative to wired and wireless connectivity for America's rural communities?" is authored by Stephen Cobb, CISSP, a RuMBA member in rural New York State. "Satellite Internet is amazing technology but a poor substitute for cable, fiber, or DSL," says Cobb.

The whitepaper is the first in a series of studies exploring potential solutions to the lack of access to broadband technology affecting more than 20 million Americans living in rural areas. The 20-page report, which is now available for download, also describes emerging trends in information technology that make access to broadband increasingly critical to the economic viability of rural communities.

The whitepaper can be downloaded from http://www.rumbausa.net/whitepapers