Space News - March 13, 2018

Divining what the stars hold in store for broadband megaconstellations

WASHINGTON — The world’s biggest, best established satellite operators talk of broadband as an enormously lucrative opportunity.

But in truth, nothing is causing them more frustration.

Demand for ever-faster broadband internet connections is maxing out today’s satellites, setting off an industry-wide stampede toward increasingly powerful high-throughput satellites (HTS).

While that might sound like a good thing, the rush to HTS is driving down bandwidth prices so fast that some fairly low-mileage satellites are struggling to keep up. A study by Northern Sky Research found capacity prices dropped between 35 and 60 percent over the last two years and will continue to decline into next year, with a rebound unlikely.