Simulating Satellite Internet Performance on a Small Island

Ulrich Speidel, Lei Qian


Small remote islands often rely on satellites for
Internet access, a scenario especially common in the author’s own
“backyard,” the South Pacific. In most cases, a local Internet
Service Provider (ISP) on the island connects via a narrowband
satellite link carrying IP traffic from and to some mainland
teleport connected to the wider Internet. The ISP then provides
this connectivity to end users via a comparatively low-latency
network on the island. Users on such links commonly report
problems with downloads even when ISPs report significant
spare link capacity.
This paper reports on the design of a hardware-based
simulator capable of simulating such traffic scenarios and the
considerations underpinning its design.

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