HC Deb 12 March 2003 vol 401 c268W
Mr. Charles Kennedy

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the quality of a broadband connection established using a satellite deteriorates during adverse weather conditions; and if she will make a statement. [101988]

Ms Hewitt

Satellite services, like all other radio services, suffer degradation under adverse weather conditions, and this impairment is more pronounced at the higher frequencies often used by satellite services to provide services direct to and from businesses and homes.

When planning their satellite system, service providers take steps to overcome the effect that normally expected variations in weather conditions may have through careful system design and the use of appropriately sized satellite dishes. Taken together these measures provide a "protection margin" against the effect of weather variations.

Extreme or unusual weather conditions will still affect even the best designed radio systems, terrestrial or satellite, and impairment or even temporary failure is unavoidable. Fortunately these events tend to happen rarely and are usually very short lived.