A new internet provider might be coming to town sooner than later. SpaceX’s Starlink is expanding the number of internet satellites orbiting around the Earth and aims to become a relatively inexpensive satellite internet provider. As a start, Starlink wants to give a better internet solution to the people living in rural areas in North America.
Starlink’s product development began in 2015. Since its inception, the company has been developing a new generation of large constellations orbiting in low-Earth orbit (LEO), hoping to provide accessible low-latency, high bandwidth (broadband) internet service. Elon Musk believes that only a few years from now, the company will offer a near-global service.
SpaceX already has permission to put up to 12,000 satellites in orbit and has requested approval to increase that number to 30,000. While SpaceX is currently sending only sixty satellites at a time and has a little less than 1000 satellites in orbit, Elon Musk hopes that the new Starship rocket will have the capability to put 400 satellites into orbit at once. This would make it much easier for them to deploy more satellites and achieve the desired global coverage.
The ambitious plans of Tesla’s founder have been met with mixed feelings by people from various industries. Astronomers have been ringing the bell of the possible light pollution caused by the tens of thousands of satellites planned to be deployed by SpaceX. Members of the telecom and television provider industries also reacted angrily as Starlink’s operations will likely negatively interfere with their services. Scientists and researchers also expressed disagreement with FCC’s decisions as the Starlink satellites might end up causing cascades of space debris that will orbit the world for many years.
Over the last few weeks, the Starlink project hit a couple of fairly significant milestones. Apart from the fact that Starlink now has nearly 1000 satellites orbiting Earth, the company began beta testing in the USA and got regulatory approval to operate in Canada. While Canadians have not yet started to receive the new Starlink products, the USA’s beta testing has been going on for weeks now. PC Mag reported that most people testing the new internet appear to be reasonably happy with the product.
Most of the feedback shared by PC Mag confirms that users are generally getting download speeds between 50Mbps and 150Mbps and uploads speeds between 10Mbps and 40Mbps, which is significantly faster internet of what rural area consumers usually have. The interviews also showed that weather would be playing a big part in the quality of the service, so the upcoming results from the beta testing in Canada, a country with generally harsher weather than the USA, will undoubtedly be interesting.
If you are interested in becoming a beta tester, you have to live in a rural area in the USA or Canada, and you must be situated between 44 and 52 degrees latitude. A few weeks ago, SpaceX began sending the first invites for Starlink’s pubic beta. The service’s cost is $99 per month and comes with an initial $499 one-time fee. Starlink is shaping to be the next big cash cow for SpaceX and will help Elon Musk move on with his life-long plans to help humanity settle on the Moon and Mars eventually.
Starlink’s ability to deliver internet around the globe will likely increase the number of people with access to the internet. While this is good news for many, it is also bad news as this means that there will be more prey for hackers. No matter what internet provider you are using, having high-standard antivirus software installed on all your connected device is a must.
More prey for hackers? Seriously? And although space debrees is a serious problem starlink satellites are cutting edge technology with the ability to avoid collisions and de orbit at the end of its life. And to the point of ground based space observations most complaints are from very recent launches where the satellites have yet to reach their operational orbits and spread out. Also SpaceX seemed to almost emidiatly responsed by upgrading their satellites to reduce the glare. If this doesn’t sound like a company being responsible I don’t know what is.
Prey for hackers ?
I know you’re an information security company, but the largest impact will be on freedom of speech and liberty global wide.
Failing to address the company’s value of a free and better world and focusing only on profit is to shortsighted.
I am with explorernet there services are no good they cut out all the time I love just west of Edmonton Alberta
Kinda embarrassing that you had to make up the fact that a new ISP provides “more prey for hackers” in order to advertise your antivirus software. Maybe try a less saturated market cause you’re not fooling any customer who’s worth your time
Please, please, please hurry availability to ME and the community here suffering 2.6 Mbps/.096 service from monopolistic **nturyl*nj who refuse any improvement to all low count populations
Interesting read. How do I become a tester. I live in Nome Alaska. I have a remote fishing lodge that could use this internet. Now I am using Excede but is slow.
This is really just advertorial blurb for Panda antivirus stuff isn’t it?
Still, fair enough, it’s not as bad as some of the other out there.