Unlike traditional satellite services, which rely on a wired (and often slow) uplinks, Starlink communicates directly with the home user for both up and down internet traffic, reducing latency and providing a service that rivals some suburban direct internet connection speeds. Starlink, founded by Elon Musk, is launching thousands of small, refrigerator sized (and we mean small) satellites over the next year to blanket the US and Canada with the service. Already in a trial phase, Starlink is serving around 10,000 customers in North America and the plan is to expand the existing orbiting 1,300 satellites by another 1,400 by the end of the year.
Things are not slowing down for the more traditional wired options either. Source
The rural and urban divide for internet services is narrowing, but with continued private investment and the relaxing of government regulations will result in speed and access improvements for the most remote locations of Washington.
The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) has been working to expand cellular broadband service, particularly during the pandemic, to help those even without a wired solution. Certainly, Starlink will offer an alternate for those consumers and drive down costs through competition. Comcast recently announced it is expanding its service into further into Whatcom county and there are several initiatives to expand PUD services and 5G capabilities over the next year or two.
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- Headline: Starlink’s Broadband Satellite Internet Continues to Expand: Is It the New High-Speed Rural King? »Publications» Washington Policy Center
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