Tech Tips: New Internet Option – Starlink

Internet options in Deer Park are limited; however, as early as February there could be a new option available. Starlink is unlike other internet providers and will be a new best option for many.

The main reason to be excited about Starlink as an internet provider is that speeds will rival what is available in larger cities via cable or DSL options, and in most cases will be accessible even in the most remote locations. 

How Starlink Is Different

Starlink, as the name suggests, is a satellite internet provider. If you have experience with other satellite providers you are probably familiar with how slow those connections are. Other satellite providers use larger and heavier satellites, which also require higher orbits to maintain their correct positioning. As a result, the internet signal has much further to travel. The longer round trip for the data and limited processing abilities of the older satellites makes them much slower, nearly making the internet unusable. 

Starlink depends on smaller satellites and many more of them, currently over 700 satellites in orbit, with thousands more planned. The Starlink satellites orbit at an altitude of about 340 miles above the surface of the earth. Compared to other satellites that are 620 miles or more, that distance is a big factor. Each satellite in the Starlink constellation is also capable of transmitting much higher levels of bandwidth; the exact numbers are not public yet.

Beta Available Soon

With the most recent launch of satellites, Elon Musk announced that a public beta will be made available when the newest satellites reach their orbital positions. Launched on Oct 6th, it will be about mid February before the satellites reach their proper positions. Currently the Starlink services are only available to a small number of private beta testers. Most of the beta testers that we know of are located in Washington State. 

Small Town Washington 

The Hoh Tribe reservation, which is in a remote part of Washington State reached out for help. “It seemed like out of nowhere, SpaceX came up and just catapulted us into the 21st century,” Melvinjohn Ashue said in a video produced by the Washington State Department of Commerce. “Our youth are able to do education online, participate in videos. Telehealth is no longer going to be an issue.” The reservation is about 23 miles south of Forks, Washington, a small city with only about 3,800 residents. Deer Park and the surrounding area will likely benefit in much the same way when the public beta becomes available.

Getting Starlink Services

To get updates about service availability, sign up on the Starlink.com website. As soon as it is available you should get an email. At this time Starlink has not released any details about plan features and prices.

This is a sponsored article and does not necessarily reflect the position of the Deer Park Gazette or its staff.

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