Starlink is not a replacement for fiber and terrestial wireless broadband

We get calls every week asking if Starlink is going to eliminate the need for terrestrial broadband solutions like rural fiber and fixed point wireless broadband.

The short answer is, "No."

Starlink is a substantial improvement over traditional geosynchronous orbit satellite Internet (e.g. Hughesnet, Viasat), but it is still going to have much higher latency than terrestial wireless, and its bandwidth will never get close to Gig fiber.

This article indicates that Starlink performance (still in beta testing) is highly variable. Starlink promises that latency and bandwidth will improve as it adds more satellites. But more satellites will also mean more users, and that bandwidth is shared.

This article discusses problems the Starlink customer equipment is having with overheating in Arizona--and perhaps other places. The article also estimates that Starlink will likly only be able to service a maximum of about 1% of the U.S. Internet market.

For rural residents that are stuck with slow DSL or low performance geosynchronous satellite services, Starlink is going to be a big improvement. Here at Design Nine and WideOpen Networks, we see Starlink as part of a toolkit of solutions. But it is not "the solution."

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