(TNS) — SpaceX’s satellite service is bringing warp-speed internet to rural parts of
The much-anticipated Starlink satellite network operates in an orbit that is much closer to Earth and holds many more satellites than those in existing networks, factors the company claims account for high speeds. One Reddit poster who says they live in rural
But much remains unknown about the nascent network even as it has won federal funds to expand rural internet access in
One of the early adopters is
She said the initial $500 equipment investment plus $90 per month for service means the network is an option for people who have money and are unhappy with their current provider, but it is no panacea for
“It’s one of the tools in the arsenal, but it’s not the only tool and it’s not a perfect tool,” Schaffer said. “None of them are.”
The network is part of the attention-grabbing portfolio overseen by
Starlink is a side project and the
“If Starlink goes out for 2 seconds on a Zoom call, it can mess up the meeting,” he said.
Schaffer also pointed to the same brief lapses in connections that can add up to 6 minutes or more a day, attributing it to
Starlink is also one of four companies awarded a total $ 71.2 million over 10 years by the
“Off the record, we don’t have any new information to share at this time,” a spokesperson responded to questions last week.
A study by telecom consultancy Cartesian estimated that by 2028, some 56 percent of consumers who relied on Starlink would experience service degradations during peak broadband hours of
The network’s performance might be further diminished because
For now, it is providing Mainers with slow or no internet connections with much desired high-speed access. Schaffer said the HughesNet internet she had been using has satellites about 22,000 miles away from Earth, while Starlink’s are about 1,200 miles away. It wasn’t possible with the old service to stream movies in
There is a potential negative side effect to Starlink as the state tries to bridge the digital divide, Schaffer said. In a poorer area, for example, if people who can afford the service sign up, other companies might find it difficult to expand because there won’t be enough demand for their service.
“Starlink has the potential to make it much harder to build out networks,” she said. “It’s a huge equity question of how to bring the networks to people who can’t afford service but still need connections.”
(c)2021 the Bangor Daily News (Bangor, Maine). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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