Starlink could go live by mid-2020

At first I got really excited when I saw this article. This will be a game-changer for undeveloped countries and rural areas where there is little or no internet available. The benefits are clear.

Then I got to the part that said, “It’s possible the service will be offered directly to customers, while in some countries, customers will need to sign up for the service through a telecom service provider.“

I guess I assumed it would be direct access for everyone, but if some countries (most likely developed nations) need to go through a telecom service it seems it won’t be any different than it is now because the telecoms will still control access. This also means nations can still enforce censorship.

I definitely see the benefits for humankind but I’m disappointed it’s not direct access for all.


I was just notified that I can sign up for Starlink beta. The email from them states I can expect download speeds of 50 to 150 Mb/s. I’m on DSL (my only option) and am getting 10. The cost is $499 for the “kit” which is fully refundable, no questions asked, within 30 days. $99/month for the service, cancellable at any time.

Should I try it?

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Different nations have different laws. Until we do away with countries and national borders that won’t change.

It will still make a huge difference, if you don’t currently have any access to the Internet…

Despite the fact the signal comes from space, the target (the customer) is not in space and thus the radio waves (which are a limited resource and thus licensed by the government of the land) need to be directed into the country of the target/customer. Most governments tax such things as well, so they’re going to require a local entity so that collection of those taxes is “efficient” and “accurate.”

That’s going to be an interesting issue… Starlink could land in trouble with one government just for doing business with another. For example, if there are sanctions on North Korea, should Starlink still offer service there? On the one hand, it’s great for spreading democracy if people can see what’s going on outside their censored locality, but on the other hand, the government won’t want this, and will require the signal to pass through their “great firewall”. It poses an interesting technical problem, let alone the moral ones.

Since it’s not my money, go for it :grin:

Check out this guy (YouTuber style cringe warning), he took his Starlink setup out to the woods and ran a bunch of tests off his car battery