Many readers of the RSF Post do not live in the RSF Covenant and thus do not have access to the RSF Connect high speed fiber Internet network. Unfortunately, many of them also do not have access to any good broadband at all.
That is about to change now that Starlink is accepting pre-orders for service in our area.
Starlink: Satellite Internet That Works
Internet access via satellite like Viasat has always been the last resort if you couldn’t get Internet any other way. It is slow (2Mbps to 5 Mpbs) and has really high latency (800 ms).
Starlink is a different animal entirely. While it delivers service via satellite, the satellites are whizzing above at an altitude of only 340 miles compared to traditional satellite Internet at 22,000 miles. There are also many more of them. Currently Starlink (owned by Elon Musk’s SpaceX) has over 1,000 satellites in orbit with the full constellation growing to over 12,000 and beyond compared to the four Viasat satellites.
What all this means is that Starlink delivers 100+ Mbps broadband with 30 ms typical latency. While not as good as fiber, it is a huge leap forward for those that do not have access to fiber or broadband cable. There is a Reddit community discussing Starlink and experiences have been universally good (bearing in mind that to date, the service has been in beta, so some locations experience a few minutes of drop outs every day – normal service later this year won’t have that problem).
How To Get It
First, you must have an unobstructed view of the northern sky. People often end up mounting the Starlink satellite dish on their roof. If you are surrounded by tall trees, you must find some way to get clear access looking north. A tall antenna tower may be in your future if that is the case. Others with clear access north can simply ground mount the antenna.
Cost of the service is $99/month plus $500 for the Starlink antenna. Starlink provides a WiFi router (with a single Ethernet output port), but you can substitute your own router if you want. You can also buy different mounts as an option.
Click here to go to the Starlink web site and sign up. Do it now since orders will be delivered on a first come first served basis. Expected service for this area is mid to late 2021. I believe there is a $100 deposit required at sign up.
By the way, this service is meant for those that don’t otherwise have access to good wired Internet options. If you are in Solana Beach or, soon, Encinitas, note that Ting Internet is now or soon offering 1 Gbps fiber Internet.