Starlink Internet for All

by Samir Ahmed
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Can you imagine a world where everyone can have the internet? Well that world will soon become a reality with starlink. Starlink is a project by SpaceX to use satellites that will provide the internet all over the world for a low price. Starlink plans to launch 42,000 satellites and is currently being beta-tested in certain areas around the United States and Canada. According to the telecompetitor, some Starlink beta testers used “the Ookla Speedtest app, Starlink beta users found speeds as high as 60 Mbps downstream and 17.7 Mbps upstream. Latency was as low as 31 milliseconds. Speeds ranged from 36 Mbps to 60 Mbps on the download and 5 Mbps to 17.7 Mbps on the upload.” These speeds may seem decent, but Starlink is still in the beta stages, so speeds may change when Starlink is available to the public.

 

According to reviews “The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) 2016 report found that 62 percent of Americans have only one choice for “fixed advanced telecommunications capability.” And when they looked at rural areas specifically, the number of Americans stuck with just one internet service provider (ISP) rose to 87 percent”. Starlink can change that by covering all parts of the globe, meaning places such as  rural areas can have more reliable and cheaper options for telecommunications, forcing other companies to be more reliable and cheaper, so they can keep customers whose contracts are expiring or are planning on switching networks. According to reviews “each satellite is about as big as your office desk and weighs close to 500 pounds—that means the January 2020 Falcon 9 mission carried 30,000 pounds of satellites into space!” Starlink plans on launching 42,000 satellites, using the Falcon 9 rocket, which can carry up to 50,000 pounds, with each satellite weighing 500 pounds. The Falcon 9 can only carry 100 Satellites per launch which means it has to fly 420 times from space and back to reach the optimal amount of satellites to spread around the world and provide everyone with the internet. 

 

Many people may argue that when the satellites malfunction or reach the end of their lives, they will pollute space. They can't since each satellite is designed to deorbit and burn upon entry, they don't pollute space when they die. How will Starlink renter orbit and spread across the earth? Starlink uses kryptonite ion thrusters to get around the earth. According to geek wire “SpaceX has opened a new window into its ambitious plans for a global satellite broadband data network...The application, filed on behalf of a sister company called SpaceX Services, seeks blanket approval for up to a million earth stations that would be used by customers of the Starlink satellite internet service. The stations would rely on a flat-panel, phased-array system to transmit and receive signals in the Ku-band to... the Starlink constellation”. This would provide customers with a more reliable internet, you could think of it as an ethernet port connected to your computer which would give you a more reliable internet connection. Starlink is a pretty cool project that will change the world for the better. Starlink will be released around the end of 2020 in America and Canada and 2021 for the rest of the world.