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network1The size of a network is limited due to size and distance constraints. However networks may be connected over a high speed communications link (called a WAN link) to link them together and thus become a WAN.

Most business organizations use WAN links to interconnect local area networks (LANs) at geographically dispersed sites. Over the years, as business organizations continue to grow both nationally and globally, the demand for WAN links has steadily increased. Call centers, for example, have moved off-shore; distributed computing has replaced large regional data centers; sales offices have expanded to new locations. As WAN links become integral to the day-to-day operations of the business organizations, the availability and reliability of WAN links has a direct, highly visible impact on business operations, employee productivity, and customer satisfaction.

Inmarsat Fleet Global – The Maritime Communications Solution

Fleet Broadband is the smallest, most simple high speed Internet & telephone receiver for maritime communication. It can be set up by an individual with little or no training and operates globally, also requiring no particular training to keep it functioning. A fleet broadband antenna and controller are self contained, requiring only power. Switch it on, and your entire fleet is linked at broadband speed. This appliance can be rapidly implemented across your fleet and as a standard IP service, seamlessly integrated with corporate and headquarter networks. The service is such that anybody who operates a vessel of almost any size can easily see the benefit of the technology which reaches far beyond its cost. Contact us today to discuss the benefits Fleet Broadband can bring to your company. Read on for a flavour of these benefits:


Flexibility and control: Fleet Broadband supports the newest IP services, as well as traditional circuit-switched voice and data for your Current applications. You can choose between a standard, contended IP service and guaranteed data rates on demand – with the ability to choose the rate according to your application. 3 varieties of terminals are available, each present distinct performance capabilities.

Cost effective: With Fleet Broadband, performance and flexibility is not too pricey. Terminal costs are fairly low, with a selection of airtime pricing packages to best suit your needs. There is also no obligation to commit to a lengthy contract. Global voice and broadband data services are more accessible than ever before, enabling you to achieve better operational efficiencies and reduce the expenses of crew communications.

Worldwide coverage: Fleet Broadband ensures you’re never out of touch, wherever you sail. Voice, fax, and data connectivity in the Indian and Atlantic Ocean Regions is available immediately. Inmarsat delivers global coverage – excluding the extreme polar regions.

Easy to install and integrate: Finding a space on your vessel for your new FleetBroadband terminal shouldn’t be a problem. With the antenna set inside a neat radome cover, which ranges in diameter from 25 to 60cm, and a discrete below-decks terminal, Fleet Broadband is compact without compromising performance. As a standard IP service it can be seamlessly integrated with your shorebased systems, making your vessel a transparent link within your company network.

Inmarsat is one of the best providers of global satellite solutions in the world and Fleet Broadband is just one of those solutions. The Inmarsat solution provides global satellite communication, with multiple satellites covering the whole planet. Contact us today to discuss this or indeed any of the Inmarsat solutions which we will be blogging about in the coming weeks.

Guide to Rural Scottish Broadband Rollout

The availability of easily affordable high speed broadband in Scotland has become widespread in recent years, much as it has across the rest of the UK. However, with around 99 per cent of Scotland’s population connected, it was discovered that there was a problem regarding the reach of broadband in Scotland.

Scotland’s broadband reach problem means that for the one per cent of people without a broadband connection in Scotland, there is difficulty accessing the internet as a result of the distance between their house and the nearest broadband-enabled telephone exchange.

Fairly recently, it seemed this remaining one per cent of the Scottish population had no realistic chance of connecting to broadband in the foreseeable future, but a government initiative has changed that dim outlook and the future of broadband in Scotland suddenly looks brighter.

We’ve tried to explain just what’s happening regarding the roll-out of broadband services to rural Scotland and answer any questions you may have regarding the Scottish Broadband Reach Project.

What is the Scottish broadband reach problem?

A reach problem or reach issue occurs when a house, office or business premises is situated too far away from the nearest broadband or ADSL-enabled telephone exchange. Over long distances the telephone signal has degraded so much that it reaches a level where it cannot provide a broadband service.

The length of the line is the major factor in this problem. So numerous hills or valleys, or even the presence of water, can increase the distance the cable has to cover, and as such, lead to lack of broadband connection.

How far away is too far?

There is no hard and fast rule. But an estimated 5km radius (around 8km of line length) from the broadband-enabled telephone exchange could be enough to mean that your house or business cannot receive broadband.

Solving the reach problem for broadband in Scotland

The Scottish Government started an initiative called the Broadband Reach Programme. This saw the award of a grant to a company called Avanti Communications to bring broadband to the areas of Scotland currently unable to gain access to a broadband connection.

Bringing broadband to everyone

In October 2007, the Scottish Government asked any homes and business unable to get broadband in Scotland to register with them. The government began to compile a list of all the Scottish broadband black spots so that it could start addressing the problems of reach and make broadband in Scotland available to everyone.

By June 2008, the Scottish government signed a £3.3m contract to deliver an affordable broadband service to all the households and business that had registered to say they could not get broadband services in Scotland.

A company called Avanti Communications won the contract to help provide people who are currently without any broadband access in Scotland, with affordable broadband connections.

Stuck in the middle?

There is a far greater problem than this however for an even larger percentage of Scottish businesses than the 1% who cannot access the Internet at all . An estimated 10% of Scottish businesses most of whom rely on their connection to the internet just to do business are stuck in the middle? These businesses fall within an area where they do have access to ADSL connectivity and are thus ineligible to benefit from the Scottish Governments scheme, but can achieve connection speeds of 1.5Mbps or less.

For these businesses, the picture is far bleaker. Their options are usually to either:

  1. Pay for a leased line which can result in prohibitive costs of 10-20 thousand pounds per year.
  2. Sign up to more than one DSL connection and connect these to a load sharing router which offers a limited answer to the problem.
  3. Sign up to a broadband bonding service where their multiple DSL connections are diverted away from their local exchange and passed to a remote service location where the traffic is modified to include control information which creates the illusion that the site has one single faster connection.
  4. ………………………….. or ………………………

  5. Grin and bear it. Struggle on with a sub par connection which impedes the ability of their business to make use of the Internet and downright prevents them from being able to do certain things which other businesses take for granted such as video or voice services.

Traditionally this was the stark choice faced by businesses caught in the middle. That is however, until now.

At Rustyice Solutions we have entered into a close relationship with Mushroom Networks Inc of San Diego, California to bring their innovative and award winning products to the UK.

Already, we are providing businesses throughout the UK the cost effective solution to this problem with a range of products designed to provide a truly high speed broadband experience. Our solutions provide speeds up to 50Mbps in locations where this type of connection would typically cost ten times more every year than the one off cost of the Mushroom Networks equipment.

So, if you are left in the doldrums and part of this “squeezed middle” congratulations! You have just found the answer. Give us a call today and one of our technical representatives will call you back at a time of your convenience for a no obligation chat. We look forward to hearing from you.

Alternatives to WAN performance optimisation

Here are some alternatives to WAN performance optimisation that should always be considered:

  • Application redesign or reselection: In some cases, it’s better to replace a few poorly-designed applications instead of trying to alter the WAN characteristics. Backup and file transfer or distribution applications that don’t remove long duplicate data strings (“deduplication”) or that handle transmission errors or congestion inefficiently are prime examples.
  • Application remoting: Often called “terminal server” or “Citrix,” this solution is best for applications that are tightly-intertwined with some remote service; for example, an application in a remote office that makes frequent calls on a database in the enterprise’s central server location. Application remoting can also save money on licensing fees and has other advantages. Application Remoting data flows will probably require network QoS.
  • System tuning: In some cases (e.g., inability to use all of the bandwidth in a high-latency path), simply tuning existing software or upgrading to more recent version (e.g., shifting to Microsoft Windows Vista from Windows/XP) can produce massive results at minimal cost.
  • WAN service modification: For some situations, the need for more bandwidth or better network delay or error characteristics is unavoidable or is the most cost-effective solution. In some cases, technology changes (e.g., to satellite from terrestrial links) are also involved. Renegotiation of carrier contracts and changing carriers are also options.