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.

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Tempe muni wireless falls short

Tempe, Arizona's foray into community and municipal wireless has not worked out as expected. Like many other communities that have tried the same thing and have also failed, Tempe tried to avoid spending any money. They simply granted an untested wireless firm access to city lightpoles and structures for wireless equipment. The private firm had to bear the entire cost of build out. The wireless system was also not seen as reliable as a wired system, and the wireless firm has not been able to attract many subscribers.

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Digital Cities: "My business can't survive without broadband"

Galen Updike, with the State of Arizona, opened the Digital Cities Expo this morning, and told of speaking to a woman who was trying to run a business out of her rural home.

She said, "You know, I can do without public water--I can have my own well. I can do without public sewer--I can put in my own septic system. I can do without a paved road to my house. I can even do without electricity--I can generate my own. But without Internet access, my business will fail."

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VoIP works just fine at 80 mph

Esme Vos at MuniWireless reports that Arizona has been testing VoIP via wireless on highways, and that telephone calls have been made successfully at speeds of 80 MPH. The effort uses equipment from a company called RoamAD. The mesh network system is able to hand off the signal from one cell to another without losing the telephone call.

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