There’s no power outlet, land-based internet connection or even a decent cell signal in sight, yet we’re posting this live, at fast broadband speeds. We’re miles deep into Camp Pendleton, connected to ViaSat’s SurfBeam 2 Pro Portable mobile satellite transceiver and sending data to and from ViaSat-1 located more than 20,000 miles above our heads. SurfBeam 2 wasn’t designed for us to kick back and surf the web in the middle of nowhere at speeds that we could barely achieve while tethered to a cable connection just a few years ago, but we’re doing just that, with ViaSat’s roughly $20,000 go-anywhere satellite broadband rig. We first heard about Pro Portable last month at CES, which the company is marketing towards military, emergency management personnel and even broadcasters — that’s right, the sat truck of the future fits inside a hand-carry suitcase, and sends HD video from the world’s most remote locations right back to broadcast centers at record speed, nearly eliminating that lag that makes certain CNN reports painful to watch.
Pro Portable really can go anywhere — disassembled, it fits inside a fairly modest suitcase, but screw it together and you have a full-size dish. There’s also a four-port Ethernet router and an optional battery pack, which provides up to four hours of juice. Think of it as Exede broadband for far-off-the-grid types
- Satellite broadband providers expand into rural areas (usatoday.com)
- Engineering being what it will… (uncachable.com)