Here is why Spacex's Starlink should work:

Nobu

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The article says the people in adjacent neighborhoods have the same access (at the same cost) but the "whiter" neighborhood has fewer households that go without. Starlink won't help in those situations (it's more expensive than base level broadband, and they're not taking advantage of that, even).

I agree, Starlink will be successful, and it will help more areas get access to affordable, fast internet, than before. But people who have access and aren't using it won't be a large percentage of their customers. There will still be a LARGE amount of red on the map, even if/when starlink's price comes down.
 

DarkSideA8

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but the "whiter" neighborhood
Some people cannot interact with the world without playing the victim card - as if the world is a giant conspiracy against them, personally.

I tend to breeze past this nonsense (perhaps with an eye roll or an exasperated chuff) - but other than that I don't let it bother me.

But I think the info is good: there is a ton of space in America that is under-served with broadband - for whatever reason one might cherry pick

FWIW - I tried to get the local cable company to talk to me about stringing a line from the highway to my father in law's farm house (about a mile and a half if you follow the road, maybe just under a mile if you go straight line) and you either can't get someone to talk to you or they quote you an absurd price


(OTOH - the badtards are quick as can be to string up any farm converted into shitty 80s style McMansions on 1/2 acre plots.)
 
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Nobu

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Some people cannot interact with the world without playing the victim card - as if the world is a giant conspiracy against them, personally.

I tend to breeze past this nonsense (perhaps with an eye roll or an exasperated chuff) - but other than that I don't let it bother me.

But I think the info is good: there is a ton of space in America that is under-served with broadband - for whatever reason one might cherry pick

FWIW - I tried to get the local cable company to talk to me about stringing a line from the highway to my father in law's farm house (about a mile and a half if you follow the road, maybe just under a mile if you go straight line) and you either can't get someone to talk to you or they quote you an absurd price


(OTOH - the badtards are quick as can be to string up any farm converted into shitty 80s style McMansions on 1/2 acre plots.)
I just figure they refuse to pay the absurd price, like myself, for base broadband access. You could get dialup for $8/mo (or free) before, but that's not good enough. Now you "need" at least DSL, which is $40/mo minimum, and there are no alternatives. A phone line is ~$20/mo, add dialup (if you can find a provider) and you're almost at $40 already...
 

DukenukemX

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I agree, Starlink will be successful, and it will help more areas get access to affordable, fast internet, than before. But people who have access and aren't using it won't be a large percentage of their customers. There will still be a LARGE amount of red on the map, even if/when starlink's price comes down.
Starlink will be successful because broadband in the US is still fucked. Lots of people who live too far away from cities and towns who don't have a choice or don't have good choices. Lots of people who only have one choice, usually cable or worse DSL.

Starlink is not ideal as I'm certain it'll always have higher latency than cable or fiber.
 

Nobu

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Starlink will be successful because broadband in the US is still fucked. Lots of people who live too far away from cities and towns who don't have a choice or don't have good choices. Lots of people who only have one choice, usually cable or worse DSL.

Starlink is not ideal as I'm certain it'll always have higher latency than cable or fiber.
The people with cable or DSL are in relatively good shape. There are places where satellite or line of sight direct (wifi) internet access are the only options, if there are any options at all.
 

sfsuphysics

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Curious how many people live in those red areas, just noticing northern Nevada, north east California, south east Oregon south Idaho there's a whole lot of nothing going on there which makes zero sense for anyone to pay for infrastructure to bring in broadband, in fact Starlink is quite a good solution for places as sparsely populated at that and perhaps the government can stop throwing money at big corporations that don't do much of anything and takes WAY too much money per person.
 

serpretetsky

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I like maps that are basically just population density maps :p .
pop_density.png

isp_broadband_need_map.jpg



edit: definitly not a perfect match. There are some areas that dont need better broadband ISP access that seem to have low population density. North Dakota seems to not need much despite not have a huge population.

edit2: obligatory xkcd https://xkcd.com/1138/
 
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GotNoRice

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I don't think the map really tells the full story. Some people seem to have the impression that there is no mainstream broadband in the red areas.

I'm in rural Northern California, in a county that is shown as dark red. Still, there are significant parts of the county where you actually can get fast internet, including Gigabit Cable if you want. It's not all great though. For example, we have Cable internet, but we are on 10 acres with our house pretty much in the center. They were NOT willing to run Cable all way way from the street to our house. As a compromise we got them to run cable to a much smaller building (a shack really) that is much closer to the street, and I ran a 100+ yard run of Cat6a from there to my house. I'm guessing most people in that situation probably would not have been able to make that work. Maybe if there was more competition, they would have shown more willingness to run cable to my house instead of only focusing on the "easy" customers. Other issues are lots of people here still using DSL, which AT&T is phasing out (no longer accepting new customers IIRC), and slow as hell even for those who still have it. There are a couple of wireless (line-of-sight) ISPs, but the data caps are so tiny it's like a bad joke. Hughes is also pretty popular here, but then you get crazy latency in addition to terrible data caps.

But my point being, even in some of these dark red counties, there are still people (like me) who can get fast broadband. It's somewhat misleading in that respect. Hell, I transferred (up and down) over 10TB last month.
 
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HAL_404

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I'm 20 miles East of Albuquerque NM, semi rural area (in the red on all those maps you folks are pointing out). When I bought my property I saw a telephone street box on my fence line so I didn't think to look around for anything else. The phone company sent a tech to hook me up but he couldn't find the direct burial cable on my property and as he was looking around he called me over and pointed to the power pole on the other fence line on the property and said, "You have cable." and I said :eek: and sure enough ... Xfinity Blast Pro even.
 

toast0

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Starlink will be successful because broadband in the US is still fucked. Lots of people who live too far away from cities and towns who don't have a choice or don't have good choices. Lots of people who only have one choice, usually cable or worse DSL.

Starlink is not ideal as I'm certain it'll always have higher latency than cable or fiber.

I guess we'll see how it goes, but early latency reports that I've seen aren't too bad, I think I saw 25-40ms. This isn't the huge latency of geosync satellites. I'd bet any decent terrestrial options will be better, but lots of places don't have decent terrestrial options. I think having a credible alternative may help encourage ISPs to be a little more competitive, but that might just be wishful thinking.
 

auntjemima

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Starlink will be successful because broadband in the US is still fucked. Lots of people who live too far away from cities and towns who don't have a choice or don't have good choices. Lots of people who only have one choice, usually cable or worse DSL.

Starlink is not ideal as I'm certain it'll always have higher latency than cable or fiber.
There is a lot of ground to cover for traditional companies that run lines to offer fiber, for instance.

Edit: didn't finish my thought.

I live in a huge country, with tons of rural... Like my area. But even I have Gigabit fiber.
 
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Gorankar

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Starlink will allow more of the work from home types to leave the cities. It will also allow people that want or need good high speed internet to live outside cities.
I live on the edge of a city, that I keep moving further away from the center of as high speed internet becomes available, because I despise the city. Starlink is going to let me build the house I want, on the land I want, 40 miles away from the city, where b4 Starlink, my best option was spotty cellular service.

I wonder how this will further alter the demographics of the cities as more and more professional workers no longer need to be tied to those cities. Something to look at in a decade I suppose.
 

sfsuphysics

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If it wasn't for the fact I have a kid just starting elementary school I would deeply consider rural living, and live off the overly high rent I could charge from my house in a "very desirable" (according to what people are willing to pay) urban area.

Seriously all the log cabin thoughts I've had in the past always get kicked in the nuts when it came to any sort of internet. Power, no problem, water, no problem, internet? awww fuck that, I'm not getting HughesNet
 

defaultluser

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Starlink swill certainly be successful worldwide because most of the rest of the world is even worse than North America; Show me African Geosynchronous communication satellites with consumer-level access for a thousand, Trebeck?

Outside Europe and the us, they don't exist

These will also be used a ton in China fur those bypassing the great firewall. Anyone who thinks there wont be a line-out-the door for new accounts is a fool.
 
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DukenukemX

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So everyone else is on their own I guess, but please keep paying your half of taxes so I can enjoy the infrastructure.
Americans.
Wasn't it reported that the wealthy don't pay taxes? So exactly which half we talking about here?
EEqQiDhWwAMRvB3?format=jpg&name=900x900.jpg
 

travm

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Wasn't it reported that the wealthy don't pay taxes? So exactly which half we talking about here?
View attachment 367771
The tax paying people that live in unserved areas. The expectation that they pay for infrastructure they cannot use. Its the same concept as systemic racism, except you are expected to pay for the privilege.
 

travm

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My taxes paid local ISPs to connect all the houses to the internet?
Does your local ISP own the backbone line in your area?
I can't speak for all areas, but I believe government(taxes) generally subsidizes most of the actual internet infrastructure. Your ISP just looks after the last mile.
 

NeoNemesis

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Ordered this for the cottage. Pretty expensive but beats the hell out of xplorenet and using my data plan.

they don’t have an eta on when they’ll ship my dish though....
 

Chief Blur Buster

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I ran a 100+ yard run of Cat6a from there to my house.
I hope you have a lightning arrestor for your Ethernet run -- or outer metal armour (pipe) for it. I heard of someone who got equipment fried due to an unshielded outdoor Ethernet run. Out in the country.

An alternative is to run optical fiber instead; you can get a 100 foot run including fiber media converters for under $100 total from places like FS com, Monoprice and others (about $30 for 2 fiber-to-Ethernet media converters, and just pennies per foot for the fiber, maybe a few dollars more for outdoor-rated OM3 type cable with SC connectors). Long fiber runs are now cheaper than long true Cat6+ Ethernet runs, thankfully.
 

Nobu

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I hope you have a lightning arrestor for your Ethernet run -- I heard of someone who got equipment fried. Out in the country.

An alternative is to run optical fiber instead; you can get a 100 foot run including fiber media converters for under $100 total from places like FS com, Monoprice and others (about $30 for 2 fiber-to-Ethernet media converters, and just pennies per foot for the fiber, maybe a few dollars more for outdoor-rated OM3 type cable with SC connectors). Long fiber runs are now cheaper than long Ethernet runs, thankfully.
Or something like this, if not too expensive: https://www.fibersystem.com/product/ethernet-isolator-50-818/
 

GotNoRice

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I hope you have a lightning arrestor for your Ethernet run -- or outer metal armour (pipe) for it. I heard of someone who got equipment fried due to an unshielded outdoor Ethernet run. Out in the country.

An alternative is to run optical fiber instead; you can get a 100 foot run including fiber media converters for under $100 total from places like FS com, Monoprice and others (about $30 for 2 fiber-to-Ethernet media converters, and just pennies per foot for the fiber, maybe a few dollars more for outdoor-rated OM3 type cable with SC connectors). Long fiber runs are now cheaper than long true Cat6+ Ethernet runs, thankfully.

Yeah, I'm not really looking to take this thread off-topic. I did actually have my modem taken out by a lightning strike about 2 years ago. It had lasted over 2 years before it got hit. After that I put a cheap "sacrificial" gigabit switch between the long cable run and the modem. I'm not sure if that helped or not, because we really haven't had any lightning since then. We don't have very severe lightning here, and when we do it's usually a freak once-per-year storm. So even if I do have to replace equipment every once in a while, the cost over time is still pretty low. At this point my plan is to scrap the whole setup if/when I get Starlink, so it would be kind of pointless to do it now. If Starlink doesn't work out, then I might look into more advanced options for the long cable - or just wait and see how many more years the existing Cat6a will continue to work.
 

GiGaBiTe

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My taxes paid local ISPs to connect all the houses to the internet?

Yes, and all due to legislation passed 50+ years ago.

In the beginning, the federal government subsidized telephone companies, and granted them exclusive fiefdoms to operate within in exchange for building out the national communication network. This agreement was made because the telephone companies didn't want the risk of going it alone, and wanted a guaranteed market once they built their networks out. Time marched on and telephone turned into telecom, and the same agreements were kept. So as more time went on and the telecom companies started subsuming each other and merging, you eventually ended up with the situation today where 4-5 mega corporations own 99% of the US and nobody else can come in because of exclusivity agreements.

So today we have national monopolies that own everything and still get subsidies from the state and federal government to "maintain" the network. And they constantly complain about the cost to maintain said network is so burdensome that they'll be forced to cut off access to rural populations unless they keep getting their extortion money. Doesn't matter that the CEOs, CFOs, board members and shareholders are making record profits, can't change their lifestyle.
 

toast0

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So as more time went on and the telecom companies started subsuming each other and merging, you eventually ended up with the situation today where 4-5 mega corporations own 99% of the US and nobody else can come in because of exclusivity agreements.

The FCC (or congress, I dunno) voided the geographical exclusivity agreements. But it's quite expensive to overbuild somewhere that's already got one or two networks because you won't get a lot of customers unless your prices are great or your service is significantly better, and incumbents can drop their prices in a small area or roll out good networking in a small area pretty quickly. And subsidize that from high profits in other areas.
 

Shoganai

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I've pre-ordered the Starlink internet for my neighborhood. The internet here is garbo and the customer service is even worse. Constant downtime ... recently didn't have internet for 2 weeks. And I run my business out of my home. So yeah. Can't be any worse. Unforunately the ETA is "mid to late 2021" ... so pretty much could be anywhere from tomorrow until December.
 

travm

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incumbents can drop their prices in a small area or roll out good networking in a small area pretty quickly. And subsidize that from high profits in other areas.
In Canada our Gov't sets prices, so everyone can pay the same high prices.
 
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GiGaBiTe

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The FCC (or congress, I dunno) voided the geographical exclusivity agreements. But it's quite expensive to overbuild somewhere that's already got one or two networks because you won't get a lot of customers unless your prices are great or your service is significantly better, and incumbents can drop their prices in a small area or roll out good networking in a small area pretty quickly. And subsidize that from high profits in other areas.
It's not hard to be better or offer significantly lower prices. The hard part is being sued out of existence by the incumbent thug ISP when they even get a whiff of competition coming into town, as well as being heavily slandered to make the newcomer look like garbage. There is an extremely high pent up demand for a second option here. It's so bad that the local government has gotten involved, but their hands are tied with legal bullshit from Spectrum.

I've read about small companies or municipalities coming in and trying to provide internet service to underserved areas with shit internet, only to be tied up in court for literally years by the major ISP in the area using any excuse they can. The major ISP eventually loses if the defendent doesn't run out of money, but not after years and literally millions of dollars spent in JUST litigation.

Austin was a perfect example. When Google announced that Google Fiber was rolling into town, Time Warner (now spectrum/comcast) was terrified. The first thing they did was to run smear campaigns against Google on every medium they could buy ad space on, and when that didn't work, they graciously raised the speeds of their customers from 8-12 mbit to 100 mbit. They never stopped their slander campaigns though, and continually attacked Google on their competency, trustworthiness and other aspects. Every problem Google had in other markets was paraded around, one of the biggest being I think St. Louis. Their ad was something like "Look at how badly Google screwed up here, could Austin be next? Why pay them to build out their network when you have us" etc. etc.

It eventually worked. Google stopped rolling out fiber after just a few years, and when they did, Spectrum used that as an excuse to jack up prices. When Google was still a threat to them, they capped prices at $44.95 a month for 200/20, now the same service is $75.99 and still going up a couple of dollars every year. Their new excuse is that since fewer customers are buying their TV packages, they have to spread the cost of all of those shitty channels nobody watches to everyone, including non-TV customers. We get a smug letter in the mail with a xeroxed signature of the head of Spectrum every year detailing why he justifies the price increase.

I'd love to try Starlink eventually, but I can't justify $500 in equipment and $100 a month. Maybe if they have a lesser tier in the future that's cheaper, I'd bite on that. Or if spec-cum eventually jacks up their cable internet to that, I'd ditch them.
 

Gorankar

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TeeJayHoward

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So today we have national monopolies that own everything and still get subsidies from the state and federal government to "maintain" the network. And they constantly complain about the cost to maintain said network is so burdensome that they'll be forced to cut off access to rural populations unless they keep getting their extortion money. Doesn't matter that the CEOs, CFOs, board members and shareholders are making record profits, can't change their lifestyle.
Maintaining the existing network: $10b/yr
Upgrading the existing network: $5b/yr
Expanding the network to add rural areas: $800b
Maintaining the expanded network: $50b/yr

Your budget: $20b/yr (Includes government subsidy of $100M/yr)

What would YOU do? Telecom companies have been gradually expanding as fast as they can. Everyone wants to have the biggest network. And as a stockholder in at least one of them, I can honestly say I WISH they were making record profits. Right now they all seem to be unloading any assets they can just to be able to afford to modernize the existing infrastructure. Last I heard the telecom I'm most heavily invested in spent on average nine billion dollars a year over the last 10 years trying to expand their network. They're trying. It's not like they're just taking the money and running or giving it all to the C-levels.
 

DukenukemX

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That’s ridiculous. That’s not going to work anywhere that gets even remotely hot. That’s an easy temperature to reach for any object in the direct sunlight. That sounds like a massive oversight.
The best solution is to move the electronics out of the dish to someplace cooler. I doubt the issue is the dish itself getting too hot. Some bonehead engineer put the electronics in the dish which is going to sit in the hot sun regardless of what anyone does. Plus, you're paying $500 for that equipment. Just bad craftsmanship.
 
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serpretetsky

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The best solution is to move the electronics out of the dish to someplace cooler. I doubt the issue is the dish itself getting too hot. Some bonehead engineer put the electronics in the dish which is going to sit in the hot sun regardless of what anyone does. Plus, you're paying $500 for that equipment. Just bad craftsmanship.
Do you know which components are overheating and if it would be reasonable to move them off the the dish PCB? I'm wondering if with the phase array circuitry this would be difficult or have lots of other compromises.
 

GiGaBiTe

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Maintaining the existing network: $10b/yr
Upgrading the existing network: $5b/yr
Expanding the network to add rural areas: $800b
Maintaining the expanded network: $50b/yr

Your budget: $20b/yr (Includes government subsidy of $100M/yr)

What would YOU do? Telecom companies have been gradually expanding as fast as they can. Everyone wants to have the biggest network. And as a stockholder in at least one of them, I can honestly say I WISH they were making record profits. Right now they all seem to be unloading any assets they can just to be able to afford to modernize the existing infrastructure. Last I heard the telecom I'm most heavily invested in spent on average nine billion dollars a year over the last 10 years trying to expand their network. They're trying. It's not like they're just taking the money and running or giving it all to the C-levels.

What would I do? I'd figure out why maintaining stationary lines and towers costs 10 billion a year. Sure, there are maintenance costs associated with line damage and storms, but 10 billion a year doesn't at all add up with what I've seen for infrastructure. Sure you have IX's in that number, but network equipment can have service lives for years or decades without having to be replaced, they only cost electricity to run, and that's not very much in the grand scheme of things.

I'd also figure out why useless trash executives like the CEO of Charter/Spectrum make $98 million a year in wages and do a major house cleaning. He's one of the highest paid in the country and the most useless person in the country at the same time. If they really are getting $100M a year in subsidies, only 2M of that would be going to the actual network, the rest goes to paying the CEO.
 
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