This stream of lights is none other than Space X’s Starlink.
Barreling through the night sky at thousands of miles per hour is a service that will permanently change connectivity for our tiny place here in the valley. Most internet service providers around here are still offering copper-based internet that is spotty at best and struggles to reach over 2 Mb/s for downloading. The common questions about service providers around these parts aren’t how good is the service, how fast is the wi-fi, or even how cheap is it. The most common questions we ask about internet service providers revolve around the bare minimum that we still can’t even get, like how often is it down, is it fast enough to do anything and the dreaded do they throttle my service?
It’s no secret that even the best options around here are spotty, throttled and expensive in most cases. I’ve used three major companies around here before settling on the least bad option. I’m lucky enough to live in an area that even has a service provider, many out here have simply given up entirely.
Well, the wait is (nearly) over!
Starlink will be brought out in phases with the ultimate goal of having 42,000 satellites orbiting at over 500km above the Earth. As it comes out they will provide more service, speed and coverage. Talihina is already poised for the next large roll-out expected mid to late this year.
The company launched its first batch of 60 satellites in May 2019 and hopes to finish the project by 2027. The initial beta coverage was in larger, more metropolitan areas but now the service is heading towards rural areas like Southeast Oklahoma. This service was developed to disrupt cellular conglomerates that have only developed inner-city services while letting rural areas suffer. With it being satellite based, we’re looking at getting service even on the most remote locations. This includes places that may not even have phone lines or copper dsl. No longer will we have to worry about if x company has ran lines out or if they just decided that providing service just wasn’t worth their money.
At this time, not even half-way to its final release, 95% of users are experiencing download speeds of 100Mb/s and upload speeds of 20Mb/s. Prices are still sub $100 per month and many more interesting facts can be found about it. The best sub-$100 options around the valley are barely pushing 2Mb/s download and 500Kb/s upload. Starlink (which is as close to plug and play as one can get) is looking like it will provide 50x higher speeds than any local competitors within the year. These speeds in many cases are also faster than fiber-optic plans available to private homes.
Amazon and other companies are following this trend of satellite internet with release dates trailing another five or more years.
Those interested can learn more at Starlinks website.