When Elon Musk and SpaceX proposed building an ISP with satellites in low Earth orbit, it seemed like a project straight to science fiction. SpaceX launches less than 800 of its 12,000 satellite targets, The company has now announced Starling, its space-based web service, already offers download speeds of up to 100 Mbps.
While 100Mbps may not be as enjoyable compared to ground-based cable and fiber-optic services that can easily hit 1000Mbps or more, Starling’s new data speeds are a shame at the U.S. average broadband speed of 118.6 Mbps as of April 2019. Starling’s 100 Mbps number is even higher than this The average mobile download speed in the United States is just 29 Mbps, And this is much higher than the usual speeds provided Husnet, U.S. The largest satellite-based Internet provider currently on Hosenet advertises speeds of just 25Mbps, although some lucky customers get better performance.
The results of these tests showed lower latency and download speeds of more than 100 Mbps – enough to stream multiple HD movies at once and still have bandwidth
– SpaceX (p SpaceX) September 3, 2020
Hitting the 100Mbps milestone is important because it’s enough bandwidth for most homes today. Also, that 100Mbps number will make a significant improvement from the list of collected and posted speed tests Reddit, Which typically showed download speeds of 30 to 65 Mbps.
However, while some may consider switching to Starling when internet providers with download speeds above 100Mbps are available (no official release date yet), it is important to remember that Starling was never designed to be a true competitor to Terrain ISPs. , But the best alternative to DSL or single point satellite based internet for people living in rural areas.
As Musk explained at the Starling presentation earlier this year, “The challenge for anything space-based is that the size of the cell is so large that it is not good for high-density situations. [Starlink] Will have a small number of customers in LA. But we can’t make a lot of customers in LA because the bandwidth is not enough for one cell. ”
Earlier this year The FCC also made it possible for satellite-based ISPs such as Starling to compete $ 20 (27) billion to subsidize the rural Internet. So if the SpaceX system can get into the hands of consumers, there is a possibility of making money quickly.
Musk says that one of Starling’s key advantages over the traditional satellite internet is that Musk has a much better idleness, Musk claims that Starling’s service can play online video games faster, and that many speed tests in the Reddit thread post latencies of 20 to 30 meters, which certainly seems plausible.
So, for now, Starling’s download speeds seem very promising, although it’s been several years since SpaceX hit its 12,000 satellite target. Meanwhile, SpaceX will have to work on some other hurdles for Starling, such as complaints from astronomers claiming that it could interfere with the number of Starling satellites, which are scientific observations that SpaceX began to address by adding a black lid to its new satellites.