Starlink offers gigabit internet to isolated communities – at a price

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SpaceX’s Starlink is taking internet connectivity to new heights with its latest offering, the “Community Gateways.” Designed for internet service providers (ISPs), this program promises to deliver gigabit speeds to remote areas, albeit with a hefty price tag.

The program requires a substantial upfront investment of $1.25 million. In exchange, SpaceX provides not just a satellite dish but an entire facility capable of receiving up to 10Gbps broadband speeds from its fleet of satellites.

The ‘Community Gateways’ aren’t for average consumers; they’re aimed at ISPs seeking to expand high-speed broadband access in hard-to-reach areas. This business program is a strategic move to bridge the digital divide in remote locations.

Starlink’s first Community Gateway, built for the residents of Unalaska, an island near Alaska, is a testament to the program’s potential. Local ISP OptimERA is using the gateway to significantly enhance broadband for its customers, providing 10 gigabits of symmetric uplink and downlink throughput and maintaining over 99% uptime.

By offering fiber-like speeds through satellite connectivity, Starlink’s Community Gateways represent a significant leap in providing internet access to underserved regions. While the cost is high, the impact on remote communities could be transformative.

Starlink’s bold move underscores the evolving landscape of satellite internet technology, offering a glimpse into a future where high-speed internet is accessible even in the most remote corners of the globe.

Sources include: PC Mag

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