Every now and then I get an eMail from someone asking me for advice on how to best hook up to the Internet from that little cottage they have bought in a remote place in Italy. Not quite sure why it’s always Italy, seems to be a nice place for a cottage. If 3G is not available their best chance so far was to buy a prepaid SIM card from TIM and use their nationwide EDGE network. But it seems there is no an affordable alternative available.
SES Astra has started their broadband Internet satellite service that does not require a phone line for the return path. The receiver/transmitter requires a satellite dish or, in case a satellite dish is already installed for reception of TV programs from the Astra satellite, the receiver/transmitter can be installed alongside the TV receiver module.
It seems the service is not sold directly by Astra but via national resellers. In Germany, Filiago is the reseller. A flatrate with 1 MBit/s downlink and 128 kbit/s uplink is available for around 40 euros a month.
According to Astra the service is available throughout Europe. Very nice!