Satellite Broadband/TV

11/24/2011 - 09:21

Looking for advice/guidance on the above subject. I am planning on purchasing satellite broadband and had hoped that it was possible to use satellite dish also for TV. I have looked into Tooway but local supplier tells me I need sky dish for TV. As you can probably tell I am a complete idiot when it comes to technology. Is it possible to have one subscription/dish for both? If so, any recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks



Sorry for repeating myself - this post did not appear even after logging out and back in thus tried another avenue to raise the question.  Internet problems!!! thus the need for Satellite broadband and help from the clever people here. :-)

In reply to by Annec

I had a look at the 'tooway' product and it 'seems' good but I think expensive. BUT.................if it works well where you are in Italy (which I STRONGLY doubt) then it will be worth it if there is no other solution. The Internet nowadays is a 'must have' product, and I think the future is full streaming TV access via the Internet instead of the current range of Sky products. The problem with 'tooway' and others, they are totally unproven here in Italy to my knowledge. Maybe a supplier would like to take up a free trial over here (ha !!). Here in Penna San Giovanni, there are at least two suppliers of very stable wireless connectivity (Fidoka & Getby), are there no similar in 'your' area? S

This satellite internet stuff is absurdly expensive - have you researched every other possible avenue? Perhaps you have a wide area wireless network available in your area - they tend to be relatively small local outfits which run these networks, and they are bad about publicity. Try a search on ADSL and your local town or village and if there is anything, it should come up.

I have been researching wireless but found nothing in this area.  I was told Getby would, but when I contacted them they said no.  I have been using Vodafone mobile for nearly 3 years and this is just not reliable enough as I work from home.  To date it was less of an issue but now "work" changes have involved more company software etc and my dongle just is not enough (also 10 hrs a day on contract not enough).  I have had contact from 3 Tooway suppliers offering unlimited for €59 a month until Feb 2014.  If I can lose the Sky contract and the vodafone contract this works out cheaper than my current commitment.  Granted the set up costs €700-€800 are expensive but we live and work here full time and the lack of full time broadband and telephone is driving me nuts thus consider this outlay worth it.  Incidentally we did go down the TI landline route first - that was a joke!!

p.s. Sprostoni - why do you doubt that it would work?  Wirless depends on uninterrupted signals from masts and given the hills etc here I can comprehend the issues there but a great big satellite!!  surely if I can get good signal from SKY satellite (which we do even when raining/misty etc) why would the broadband signal be any different.   I understand this is two way rather than just download of signal but if it goes one way why not two? 

In reply to by karenr

Hi karenr, Why do I doubt it will work ? I have a very good friend here locally and between us we have been trying all sorts of products from freesat and others. We (in Penna San Giovanni) here are on the very edge of the satellite footprint and therefore connectivity is almost certain to be 'flakey'. (We can see the Astra satellite easily on an iPhone and Sky is no probs). It would be great if 'they(tooway)' could undertake a proving exercise (for free!), if it did work, I would think that they would get a lot of takers ! I live on the side of a hill looking due south towards Smerillo and Monte San Martino, all of the villages around me are 200 metres above me. My dish (the size of a plate from Fidoka), has DIRECT LINE OF SIGHT to both a Fidoka(at Monte San Martino) and a Getby(Smerillo) antennae so I guess I'm lucky? I have (realistically) a 99% connectivity to 4mb. Another friend has an almost identical setup to me with Getby (6mb), BUT he does not have direct line of sight to the antenna, so he has a shared connection (with other properties nearby), therefore he has only a share of the 6mb. He is connected via a receiving dish(pointing to the Getby antenna) on a neighbouring property which is then bounced around the other 3/4 properties using it.  So, although he has not got line of sight to the antenna, he still gets a decent 'bounced' connection. (if that makes sense!) I'm surprised that Getby gave you the thumbs down..................pop along to Fidoka on the SP78 and try there, they MIGHT just do it ? Good luck ! S

Hi, new member here - thanks for the useful information, it's really helpful. On a related topic, is it possible to sign up for internet/phone from Getby or Fidoka from the UK,or do we actually have to turn up in person at an office to sign things? We have just purchased our house and whilst we managed to sort out most of the services before we came back to the UK, we didn't have time to investigate how to get the phone reconnected and internet installed. We'd like to have it in place before we return in March - from next year we'll be in Italy full-time. Thanks in advance!

You may want to have a look at Italia for your internet. They promise 100% coverage throughout Italy, either with satellite/wimax, for the internet.....and apparently you can do this by monthly subscription, cost according to how much you want to upload/download etc. I'm not sure if you had the satellite option, whether the dish would work for tv too, but it might be worth checking out their web-site or contacting them at All the best

In reply to by Penny

Hi Penny, Where in Umbria is your friend? I'd be interested in the targetted footprint of Tooway to see if I could try it here in Le Marche, although I've been generally happy with Fidoka here for the last three years. I might get in touch to ask about a trial................. S

In reply to by Penny

Hi thanks Penny..............I assumed every satellite has a footprint ? Apparently you need a dish that would point 9 degrees east of due south, it seems worthwhile considering for those who have trouble accessing via other means. It has a monthly data allowance limit, so streaming may use a lot of this up, costs for a 6mb(download)/1mb(upload)appear to be some £180 set up and £25 per month for a 6mb connection.............this allows you circa 4gb data allowance. Not bad at all !! They have other (more costly) options................if anyone else tries it, can they let us know please? S

I know two people who have had Tooway for several years. Both find it extremely slow. One house is rented to holiday makers and the owners have had problems with the download monthly limit because some guests have used the allocation in a week, leading to complaints from the next renters who find themselves with internet reduced to dial-up speeds. The others have just given up on Tooway when it ceased to work altogether and switched to Italia-Wifi and they are very pleased because they now have 10Mbps instead of about 0.5Mbps. According to the Italia-Wifi site, their satellite service is available throughout Italy. And no, I don't work for them, I'm just interested in the subject because I'm looking into the options for myself.

In reply to by belvedere

Thanks for this belvedere............. I think this a probable FUTURE wayof 'doing' it; I would at present, tread very carefully due to (in my view) footprint and monthly download limitations. The technology is moving fast and for the price it seems reasonable if one is 'stuck'. The limitation on download quotas wouldbe eaten up by a lot of people within a matter of days, just streaming a UK TV show a few times an evening would hit you hard, so I can fully understand the 2nd lot of renters being somewhat dismayed ! I would realy like to promote tooway, but I'd like them to help me (or someone else local), hep them by letting us trial their product, but no chance of that ! One of our local wifi providers (Getby, similar to my provider, Fidoka), have a try before you buy facility, why would one NOT use this facility ? S

After the negative comments I decided against Tooway, and Satellite generally.  I discovered that I could get a "better" dongle from Vodafone Business store (you do have to have partita IVA) and upgraded to this instead.  Signal and unlimited (20GB/bimestrale then down to 64kbps) option is great - but another problem has raised it's head and given the IT guys back in the UK something to ponder!!  With the new dongle the software has what it calls "always best connected" and even when turned off the priority is for LAN connection (can't get my head around that - if I had a landline etc etc) over the mobile or wifi options.  I only ever use mobile (whole point of having dongle) but this priority means that I cannot plug in my IP phone that connects me to my UK office and allows me to dial out as though in UK.  Silly old thing gets confused with the LAN and thinks it is connecting via this and thus outrules the mobile option and doesn't allow any connection.  Waiting to hear from Vodafone if there is any way of disabling this via a software upgrade.  IT dept also looking at a wireless router - more cost no doubt.  All good fun................

In reply to by karenr

This problem of connection methods (LAN is the name for a cabled connection from computer to router, nothing to do with the connection to a 'land line') pains me also. I have a VPN which insists on invoking itself whenever the adsl drops out for a couple of secs - then the Vod software starts shouting at me and requiring me to do impossible things! T'was never a problem with XP, but Vista and Win 7 seem unpersuadable. Why not ask your Vod store to lend you a Vodafone station (maybe even the mark 2 which has just come out). This device gives you full wireless and works off a dongle - they come free for some Vod customers, but should be purchasable stand alone for (guess) about €70. Useful 'cos they'll run anything wireless (like internet radio, smartphone, visiting tablets etc.). It will also have a phone socket on the back which takes a normal phone, and uses the dongle for connections, so sounds as if it might be ideal for your purposes. (Not sure about incoming calls - probably not; though your dongle SIM will have a 'number' so it might be possible to find a workaround) I'm calling it a Vodafone Station because I don't know the generic term for these devices; it is a Huwaei product and quite likely can be bought more cheaply from Amazon or somewhere. However, Vodafone do insist on some pretty secure encryption (WPA2) and they may have engineered something which means that nothing which isn't a "Vodafone Station" will work on their network. 

Fillide  do you know the max speed of said router?  My IT guys suggested the same, but we are trying to find a router that will work with Vodafone 3G dongle and not reduce my speed.  I saw a wireless option on the vodafone business site but it maxed at 7.2Mbps (which is what my old dongle offered) and therefore was no good as whole point of upgrading was need for more and thus avoided that and went for this dongle.  My new dongle has capacity for 42.2Mbps -thought not in this area, here the best is currently 14.4Mbps - but I am ready for improvements and it also means as I have the largest capacity I should get a bigger share when network busy ....I'm sure you know what I mean.  Between my limitations of technology language and Italian language this is proving to be a challenge. Interesting your reference to VPN - I also work this way and blamed added Citrix and encryption etc for problem when I was issued with new laptop.  I previously worked with XP professional and now have Windows 7!!!  Currently using old laptop (XP professional) with old dongle just to run IP phone and all the company stuff is on the new laptop/new dongle.  Two vodafone monthly commitments is not something I want to continue with.  I keep trying to convince the IT guys to come visit but so far they are not biting :-)

In reply to by karenr

On the vod site (for private, not business) it says the Vod station 2 does up to 7Mbps in download, but on the Business site it says up to 14.4 (which you have available to your dongle). I'm just guessing here, but it sounds very much to me as if the dongle is the limiting speed factor, and when (!) vod run out a faster dongle the Vodafone Station will be able to keep up.

In reply to by karenr

Citrix is something I was very involved in years gone by...........One of the things it is good at is compressing data, so that, should you have bandwidth limitations, Citrix on the client side receives a compressed set of data that upon receiving, it is then uncompressed. It worked very well 8 years ago. There is no reason why a VPN connection should change this way of working, VPN is after all just a 'sort of' VERY long piece of 'connected' wireless connection ? I do not like any product that has data download limitations which most of these dongles seem to come with ? Having said that...........if that is all you can get................. IP telephony (VOIP) something which we were playing with years ago, and I have to say, in the main, get what you pay for(low volume, split second delays). The one major exclusion to this is Skype, which is superb value for money !! S

In reply to by sprostoni

I'm not using Citrix (though I'm not unfamiliar with it). I just use in the hope of streaming the likes of BBC iplayer and channel4. Being a bit of a nerd, it is not unknown for me to check download speeds (uploads do not interest me greatly) while using a VPN and when not using a VPN. My point of reference is usually, though also recommended to me is . Anyway - the results are consistent in that using the VPN rarely returns results which suggest it slows anything down. However (maybe you can expain this, Sprostoni?) the VPN often reports significantly better (like x2) upload speeds, and at one point when I was bawling out the VPN techies, somebody told me that the 'asynchronous' stuff meant that 'my bandwidth' was 'shared' between download and upload - as in faster upload meant lower download. I should dream about 14.4Mbps! I'm lucky to exceed 1.2, and not infrequently it falls below 0.5...which is what dial up offered all those years ago at much less cost.

In reply to by sprostoni

I'm not using Citrix (though I'm not unfamiliar with it). I just use in the hope of streaming the likes of BBC iplayer and channel4. Being a bit of a nerd, it is not unknown for me to check download speeds (uploads do not interest me greatly) while using a VPN and when not using a VPN. My point of reference is usually, though also recommended to me is . Anyway - the results are consistent in that using the VPN rarely returns results which suggest it slows anything down. However (maybe you can expain this, Sprostoni?) the VPN often reports significantly better (like x2) upload speeds, and at one point when I was bawling out the VPN techies, somebody told me that the 'asynchronous' stuff meant that 'my bandwidth' was 'shared' between download and upload - as in faster upload meant lower download. I should dream about 14.4Mbps! I'm lucky to exceed 1.2, and not infrequently it falls below 0.5...which is what dial up offered all those years ago at much less cost.

Fillide, I am in no way an expert, but have a sort of understanding from some time ago........ In GENERAL, a VPN connection should provide a very similar connection speed as a non VPN connection, BUT........due to the fact that you are introducing more connections between your desktop and the target website, there will be some degradation. I think of it as travelling in my car on a 5 mile journey, if there are lots of roundabouts (connections), it will take me longer to get there than if it where a straight line. If any roadworks crop up, it takes me even longer, if there is lots of traffic (think users on your (maybe shared ?) internet connection), this will also slow me down. Are you by any chance using an ADSL connection?  It is VERY likely that it will be shared, and also your distance from the exchange will affect your speed. I'm not aware of the 'upload' part of a connection taking more than the 'download' part, unless it it actually set to prioritise traffic this way by the administrators(which I strongly doubt!). The following link is a very good representation of some connectivity issues in laymans terms: S

My IP phone is as clear as if I am in the same room.  It is connected to the office server/network in the UK and thus I can make and receive calls as though in the UK office.  I am just another "extension" as far as clients are concerned. While I was just working with one lot of company software, the IP phone and Quickbooks accounting via VPN my old 7.2Mbps (10 hrs a day) Vodafone deal was more than adequate.  Then the company I work for merged and the new Company use another lot of software which has to be on an encrypted laptop (along with web mail rather than my old e-mail via outlook).  My old dongle didn't like the new laptop and thus figured it was the Citrix or encryption (or Windows 7).  Upgraded dongle as I have said before and the new one will not operate the IP phone because of the "Best connected" priority of LAN that I cannot remove.  Citrix then also decided it wouldn't work.  I keep going round in circles.  Latest comment from IT dept is that Vodafone does not support Citrix - really!!  It did for the first week.   One step forward two steps back. 

In reply to by karenr

Latest comment from IT dept is that Vodafone does not support Citrix - really!! I can understand this as Vodafone would need the citrix CLIENT AND SERVER software, S

In reply to by sprostoni

Well I'm glad you understand Sprostoni because I don't.   With my limited understanding broadband is broadband regardless of how I get it.  I figured it was just the means of "powering" all things internety etc.  Wish someone had told me as all I was led to believe by IT was that I needed faster internet - nothing mentioned about some can and some can't support ......................... Guess I'm going to have retire if I can't access the tools of my job!

In reply to by karenr

The vagaries of technology eh? I escaped the working thingy some years ago and havn't looked back! To be fair, Citrix is different...............but very good at what it does.... Good luck ! S

In reply to by karenr

I'm finding it impossible to believe that Vodafone doesn't 'support' (or indeed have any need to 'support') Citrix. I cannot see any reason for Vodafone to get involved with Citrix (I've never used Citrix on Vod, but it has always worked fine with TI). The only conceivable snag, to me, is that Vodafone are unable to assess your data exchange usage while you are on any VPN, and because you are on a contract which has a limited number of Gbs per month, they (or their accounting software) gets its knickers in a twist. This has the potential to explain why it worked 'for a bit', and maybe why it worked on the XP machine (assuming you didn't have a data exchange limit with the old slower dongle). Do keep us informed if/when you get it all sorted out - it is quite fascinating (okay, signing off as nerdy!)

Just wanted to post an update on our search for a decent connection - we ended up going for Italia WiFi. We are not within reach of their Wimax service, but their satellite service is available everywhere and that's what we have. So far it's working great - consistent speed of at least 10Mbps, even on the few very misty, overcast days we have had. Our Italian is okay, but not so good when it comes to technology so it's a real bonus to have all the info on the website in English, to have had an English-speaking installer and 24/7 online assistance in English. Another advantage for us is that they set us up with a UK IP address so that means we can access BBC iPlayer so as I write, Radio 4 is playing! Another option that we haven't taken up yet, but may do, is that of having a second LNB added to the satellite dish that will bring in the UK free-to-air TV channels and we'd be able to watch them without it using up our monthly allowance.

Just had a look at their site and the cost is exorbitant; if you need unlimited it will cost you £150/month and £1200 in hardware charges !!!!! Think you need a lottery win to afford this.

I'd just like to say that I went ahead with italia-wifi satellite a couple of months ago, partly because they are the only English company in Italy, which I found reassuring! Having said that, I have been really pleased, as I now have really fast 10Mb satellite and it's never gone wrong. I called them to talk it over expecting to have to try and speak in Italian, but was pleasantly surprised to get an English response! I even managed to get a discount on the listed prices on their website by making the order there and then on the phone. I also have an English IP address as standard, which means I can watch BBC iplayer on-line as much as I want, without having other special programmes. In addition, they piggy-backed a free-to-air box onto their English satellite dish, so I can now pick up 8 or 9 English channels direct from the UK without having to use up my internet quota. They came out and installed it all  within 5 days after I made the payment, and an English guy came and did it all. He talked me through it all so I fully understood everything, which was helpful as neither my Italian or technology know-how is that brilliant! I know Telecom Italia advertise their internet from E30 per month, but when I looked into it, it actually worked out a lot more when you take into account calls, modem rental, IVA etc. Their service is hardly comparable either! Italia wi-fi now have a really useful Comparison page on their web-site which helped me make up my mind! I would definitely recommend anyone looking for decent internet uses, as Iam delighted! 

Can you explain what you mean when you say that 'they piggybacked a free to air box' onto their 'English' sat dish? 1: Where are you in Italy? 2: How big is their dish? 3: Which English channels do you receive? 4: Do you receive these 8 or 9 channels through your TV or through your computer? 5: Is it a UK digibox? I'd be interested to know, thanks.

Flip - I don't think the price is too bad because we have been able to dispense with our landline so I offset the saving of no longer paying Telecom against the internet price. We manage fine with cellphones and Skype - now that the internet connection is fast, Skype call quality is good. And I do find that quality of life in Italy is greatly improved if you can say goodbye to Telecom! Also, Italia Wifi is offering some good discounts at present, especially if you decide to pay for the installation and the first year's subscription up front. That's what we did and it's nice to have a decent connection and no more expense for a year.

Hi belvedere, and very interesting too! Have you gone for the 13mb download connection at £80 per month ? Have you therefore in effect paid in total of £1,960 (£960(80*12) +£1,000 installation) for the first year ? What happens in the 2nd year and is the download data limit restrictive or is it too early to say? S

Yes, Sprostoni, we opted for Gold but negotiated an upgrade to Platinum for the same price (because we paid in advance for the first year) so we have an allowance of 25Gb per month. So far we certainly aren't restricted by this and it is more than ample for our needs even though we are quite heavy users, streaming 60 - 90 minutes of live TV daily and for business I often spend 3 or 4 hours on Skype conference calls during the day. There's a gadget on the website that can be used to estimate your likely usage. Our total was a little more than your figure because we went for the professional installation and three wireless points (it's a big house). The technician did a site visit to work out our options (not essential, depends on the area) then returned for the installation which involved installing a smallish, earthed dish on the chimney, running wiring into the house, hooking up the modem and wireless router, configuring and testing everything and giving us a tutorial. Then he made another visit to install a second router and network the two so that we can move about the house with iPad or iPhone and the connection is seamless. We are really pleased with the service and we've got a faster connection than anyone we know in the area. One friend followed suit and signed up and took advantage of the discounts they are offering on the site at the moment. Our second year we'll just be paying the monthly fee. I think it's possible to upgrade or downgrade your package if your needs change.  

It sounds like you have a superb set up, I have a very stable 4mb connection (wi-fi) but I'd move to your set up if I started to have problems, I think the costs are (in my view) huge, but it seems that you have got it well sorted. I'll keep an eye on their website to see if prices come down a bit. wink I'll also look into my total spend over a full year for the Telecom Italia phone bill, my 4mb connectivity cost, my VPN fees, and the cost of Sky. I'd really like to give this a go, I'll check out their gadget to see what my data download demands will be. Well done and thanks for the info, S

Hi Sprostoni and all who contributed so far to this thread, very informative as usual. We will soon be moving to our villa and will need a decent broadband connection. Although we have a telephone line along our lane there is nothing connected into the property. I would be interested to know what the average cost is of getting a line connected and the costs etc. If it out weighs the costs against italia wi-fi then I won't bother with Telecom! Comments would be greatly appreciated.

  Hi Fillide    They basically put a second LNB up with my dish on top of the internet LNB receiver. A cable then comes down into my front room which connects to a free-to-air sky box. I can pick up about 200 English channels, but I only really use about 9 of them including BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, BBC NEWS, AL JAZERA and a few other channels. I'm just a smidgeon above Rome near Terni and it works great! The internet has never gone wrong and I have even had it streaming channel 4 in the front room while my son has had on BBC 1 in another room. The dish is a standard size satellite dish and looks about the same size as my old sky one. The Digi box they provided me with is a Samsung standard free-to-air which I’ve seen in shops here in Italy, and in Argos at home. I'm on the Gold package with them, which should give me 10 Mbps, but in fact I ran a speed test this morning on their website and found I'm actually getting 19.2 Mbps download and 2.89Mbps upload speed! They guarantee to provide at least 8 Mbps on my package but are actually giving me a lot more! I must say one of the guys at Italia WiFi gave me a pretty nice discount of 10% on the equipment when I ordered over the phone, saving me  over £200.He also lowered my monthly rate from their advertised £80.00 to £68.00 which was nice, so it’s worth asking if there are any possible discounts!

In reply to by mugginsnomore

This certainly seems like a very decent option if you cost it out over (say) three years. It IS more expensive but if it delivers the speeds that are being mentioned then they are indeed very good. If you look at ones normal ongoing costs of say Telecom Itala, Internet provider here, VPN, and Sky ................. some 1,200 Euros per annum. I WOULD lose my Sky with any move, but there is not a lot there for us anyway I suppose ? S  

Bravo mugginsnomore and thanks for the update. Do you know what quantity of data you are downloading per 28 days (or month)? I've had a detailed look and it is GOOD but expensive! (although the one that I have looked at is Italia Wi-Fi, using the same satellite (eutel ka sat - launched Dec 2010): I know it is now installed very locally to me. S

In reply to by sprostoni

I've been using it very heavily seeing that I'm getting 26gb of allowance with the Gold package until May 31st. I think last month I used 23GB, and I noticed in the UK my BT  only allows me 20GB of data each month. I suppose I'm using more here as I'm streaming tv thru i-player 2 or 3 hours a day. I think it's well worth the extra bit!

Hi ThereDo you still have a satellite service with Italia wifi? I'm having a lot of difficulties with this company. Service down, paid up front, can't make contact with them - they don't answer calls/reply to emails etc. now believe them to be a scam operation. The great reviews lauding 'Brad' are a mirage. If anyone is thinking about using them or sister company PC Clinic....don't! Happy to elaborate further and to contact others who are using/being abused by them. 

In reply to by benjizip

Hi,  We are having the exact same issue with Italia Wifi. Also very happy to collaborate with you to get to the bottom of the issue. What is the best way to contact you?