Starlink’s satellite internet is already faster than 95% of all US connections
Is this the future?
When SpaceX started their Better Than Nothing Beta for its new Starlink satellite internet service a week ago, they downplayed just how speedy the service could be. Now it’s already being used by end-users and some of those homes are getting over 160 Mbps to their home, without wires.
For some context, the median download speed for wired broadband in Q2 of 2020 was 86.04 Mbps, based on Ookla’s Speedtest website. That makes Starlink even able to stream 4K content from Netflix or other streaming services, without buffering, as seen in this tweet showing a Starlink beta tester in Washington state.
There is already a long list of confirmed Starlink speed tests on the r/Starlink subreddit, with the best-confirmed speeds reaching 203.74 Mbps down, and 42.58 Mbps upload. That’s blisteringly fast, considering there aren’t any wires involved. Even the lowest confirmed speeds are above 10 Mbps, which would probably increase as more satellites are added to orbit.
Results from a StarLink beta tester in Washington state 🤯
— Kenneth Auchenberg 💭 (@auchenberg) October 31, 2020
SpaceX does caution that “brief periods of no connectivity at all” would be possible, which users have noticed during the beta. One mentions that the interruptions are for maybe 10 to 15 seconds at a time, happening every few minutes. That sure does sound like there aren’t enough satellites up in orbit, with the interruptions being while the user moves between one satellite to the next, similar to when you move between cell towers when using your cellphone.
While the early beta is limited to some of the northern US, that looks like it will change in the future. SpaceX already has IP address spaces for Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand; which will be necessary for it to act as a service provider in those regions. It looks like CEO Elon Musk’s dream to blanket the world in satellite internet is well on its way to success.
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