Why So Many Americans Want To Switch To Starlink Satellite Internet?
Time’s 2021 Person of the Year Elon Musk has a way of attracting attention and generating interest. This is true when it comes to Mars and when it comes to something going on much closer to this planet – the low-Earth orbiting satellites that fuel the Musk-related Starlink internet service.
The goal of this project from day one has been to make high-speed internet access on a global scale. Since the program launched in beta form in 2020, it has become an increasingly accessible and in-demand service.
For this reason, we discuss below why so many Americans have expressed interest in switching to Starlink for satellite internet.
Generating Massive Interest in a Short Period of Time
Operated by SpaceX, the service already has approximately 140,000 users roughly a year or so after its initial launch in beta form in October of 2020.
Even more conclusive evidence of the growing interest in Starlink comes from results seen in a recent study. Among those questioned, more than half said they would switch to Starlink as their preferred internet service provider.
Also Read: Satellite Internet Explained
What Exactly Is Starlink?
The first commercial satellite was launched in the early 1960s, so the concept of satellite-based service isn’t new. What is new, however, is the way Starlink and a growing list of other providers offer this service.
What Starlink does is use satellites placed in a lower orbit to improve the reliability of the signal delivered and allow it to reach rural areas more effectively. There are already nearly 2,000 satellites hovering above the planet that was launched by SpaceX for the Starlink program. The aim is to eventually get over 40,000 satellites into low-Earth orbit.
One of the top reasons for the increased popularity of Starlink is because of how rapidly it’s growing. As more satellites are launched, the service will become increasingly available, especially in rural areas or ones where it’s too expensive to set up and receive cable internet.
Traditional satellite internet has a reputation for being on the slow side and being somewhat unreliable and fiber-optic internet is the fastest internet available today.
Because the satellites used for Starlink’s service orbit closer to the planet, there’s a reduced delay in the transmission of data, referred to as latency. Typically, other satellite internet providers have a latency of 600ms or higher. Starlink has cut this down to as low as 45 MBPS – although somewhere between 50 and 150 MBPS is what’s usually promised.
Many Appealing Usage Options
Another perk of having satellites closer to the planet for satellite internet service is increased reliability. Granted, it’s still possible for weather to interfere with the signal being sent from space, but Starlink service is generally more reliable than what’s common with traditional satellite internet.
Couple this with the speed increase and it’s often possible to use Starlink’s service to perform an assortment of online tasks, including ones involving:
• Playing online games
• Downloading and uploading files
• Remote streaming
• Watching online content
• Work-related or online learning tasks
Positive Reviews from Satisfied Customers
There’s also the word of mouth coming from actual customers. For the most part, customer reviews have been positive. Many people are surprised at how easy it is to get everything set up and how comparable this version of satellite internet is to other internet service options.
Industry insiders and others in the tech world have also had generally favorable things to say about Starlink.
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Cable and wireless internet is still the most popular type of internet service. While Starlink certainly has the potential to put a dent in cable’s market reach and appeal, it’s still a fairly new way of delivering satellite internet service.
Therefore, there are still some limitations with availability. Even so, Starlink is worth considering for anyone in rural or under-served areas lacking another reliable source of internet. Currently, the initial Starlink kit is available for $499, which is a one-time fee. It’s then $99 per month going forward once everything has been set up.