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This paper presents a number of experimental findings regarding the efficiency of terrestrial protocols when they are used over a satellite link at data rates of about 1.5 Mbits/sec. In particular, the authors present measurements on TCP/IP and a theoretical model which explains the observed performance and points towards possible ways in which this protocol stack can be used more efficiently on a satellite channel. Two factors combine to motivate such a study at this time. First, satellite communications continue to play an important role in business communication networks. Today's increasingly complex applications demand ever more bandwidth and sophisticated connectivity. In rural areas of the US, this connectivity can be achieved quickly and economically through satellite links, at least until the terrestrial network has a chance to catch up.
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