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      Amazon unveils three satellite user terminals, plans broadband service in 2024

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 14 March, 2023 - 19:10

    Three satellite broadband user terminals designed by Amazon.

    Enlarge / Satellite broadband user terminals designed by Amazon's Project Kuiper. (credit: Amazon)

    Amazon has designed three satellite broadband user terminals and will start offering Internet service in 2024, the company announced today . The standard terminal, designed for residential and small business customers, is expected to cost Amazon less than $400 to make; Amazon did not say what it will charge customers for the terminals or for monthly service plans.

    The "standard customer terminal measures less than 11 inches square and 1 inch thick," Amazon said. "It weighs less than five pounds without its mounting bracket. Despite this modest footprint, the device will be one of the most powerful commercially available customer terminals of its size, delivering speeds up to 400 megabits per second (Mbps). Amazon expects to produce these terminals for less than $400 each."

    Whether customers actually get those speeds in practice will depend on the satellites and how congested the network is in each region, as the experience of SpaceX Starlink customers shows. Amazon didn't differentiate between download and upload speeds in its announcement, but upload speeds are likely to be slower than downloads.

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      SpaceX Starlink public beta begins: It’s $99 a month plus $500 up front

      Jon Brodkin · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 27 October, 2020 - 14:26

    A SpaceX Starlink user terminal, also known as a satellite dish, seen against a city

    Enlarge / A SpaceX Starlink user terminal/satellite dish. (credit: SpaceX )

    SpaceX has begun sending email invitations to Starlink's public beta and will charge beta users $99 per month plus a one-time fee of $499 for the user terminal, mounting tripod, and router. The emails are being sent to people who previously registered interest in the service on the Starlink website . One person in Washington state who got the email posted it on Reddit . Another person who lives in Wisconsin got the Starlink public-beta invitation and passed the details along to Ars via email.

    SpaceX is calling it the "Better Than Nothing" beta, perhaps partly because the Starlink satellite service will be most useful to people who cannot get cable or fiber broadband. But the email also says, "As you can tell from the title, we are trying to lower your initial expectations."

    The rest of the email reads as follows:

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      SpaceX Starlink bringing free Internet to some Texas kids in early 2021

      Jon Brodkin · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 26 October, 2020 - 19:16

    Illustration of the Earth with the logo of Starlink, the satellite broadband service planned by SpaceX.

    Enlarge (credit: SpaceX )

    SpaceX has agreed to provide Internet service to 45 families in a Texas school district in early 2021 and to an additional 90 families later on, the school district announced last week . The announcement by Ector County Independent School District (ECISD) in Odessa said it will be the "first school district to utilize SpaceX satellites to provide Internet for students."

    "The project will initially provide free Internet service to 45 families in the Pleasant Farms area of south Ector County," the district said. "As the network capabilities continue to grow, it will expand to serve an additional 90 Ector County families."

    The Texas location is notable because the ongoing, limited Starlink beta exists only in the Northern US, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has said an upcoming public beta will only be for the North and "hopefully" southern Canada. SpaceX has over 700 Starlink satellites in orbit, and will be able to expand the service area as it deploys more of the nearly 12,000 it has been authorized to launch. In Washington State, Starlink has been deployed to rural homes, a remote tribe , and emergency responders and families in wildfire-stricken areas .

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      Remote tribe says SpaceX Starlink “catapulted” them into 21st century

      Jon Brodkin · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 12 October, 2020 - 17:05

    Melvinjohn Ashue, vice chairman of the Hoh Tribe, seen in a screenshot from a video produced by the Washington State Department of Commerce.

    Enlarge / Melvinjohn Ashue, vice chairman of the Hoh Tribe, discusses the tribe's use of Starlink broadband. (credit: Washington State Department of Commerce )

    A remote tribe in Washington State is one of the first users of SpaceX's Starlink broadband, having been connected recently after years of struggling to get modern Internet service. "We're very remote," said Melvinjohn Ashue, vice chairman of the Hoh Tribe's governing committee. "The last eight years I felt like we have been paddling upriver with a spoon and almost getting nowhere with getting Internet to the reservation."

    The Hoh Tribe's reservation is in western Washington and had a population of 28 households with 116 people in the 2010 US Census. Ashue described the tribe's Internet problems and use of Starlink in a video produced by the Washington State Department of Commerce .

    The video serves partly to advertise the state agency's efforts to get everyone connected to modern broadband by 2024, a goal that has been helped along by SpaceX's decision to start its limited Starlink beta in Washington. Previously, we wrote about how Washington State emergency responders are using Starlink in areas ravaged by wildfires. Residents of the wildfire-stricken town of Malden have also used Starlink.

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      SpaceX has launched enough satellites for Starlink’s upcoming public beta

      Jon Brodkin · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 7 October, 2020 - 19:59

    60 of SpaceX

    Enlarge / 60 Starlink satellites stacked for launch at SpaceX facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (credit: SpaceX )

    SpaceX's Starlink broadband has been available in a limited beta for the past few months , and SpaceX has now launched enough satellites for a public beta that will be available to more customers. However, the newly launched satellites aren't in position yet, and SpaceX hasn't revealed an exact availability date.

    After yesterday's launch of 60 Starlink satellites , SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote on Twitter that "Once these satellites reach their target position, we will be able to roll out a fairly wide public beta in northern US & hopefully southern Canada. Other countries to follow as soon as we receive regulatory approval."

    Musk did not say when the satellites will reach their target position. SpaceX has over 700 satellites in orbit after yesterday's launch.

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      SpaceX Starlink brings Internet to emergency responders in wildfire areas

      Jon Brodkin · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 30 September, 2020 - 16:56

    Pictures of a SpaceX broadband-satellite dish and wildfire-ravaged areas of Washington State.

    Enlarge / A Starlink user terminal and wildfire-devastated areas seen in images shared by Washington State's Emergency Management Division. (credit: Washington Emergency Management Division )

    SpaceX Starlink is providing Internet access to Washington State emergency responders in areas ravaged by wildfires. The group has deployed seven Starlink user terminals (i.e. satellite dishes) since it began using the service in early August, as CNBC reported yesterday:

    "I have never set up any tactical satellite equipment that has been as quick to set up, and anywhere near as reliable" as Starlink, Richard Hall, the emergency telecommunications leader of the Washington State Military Department's IT division, told CNBC in an interview Monday.

    The broadband service has helped both emergency responders and families in wildfire-stricken areas. Hall "has set up terminals in areas that were burned severely to provide evacuated families with wireless calling and Internet access to file insurance claims," CNBC wrote. Hall said he also "did setup to allow kids to do some of their initial schooling."

    Hall said Starlink has "easily double[d] the bandwidth" compared to traditional satellite broadband and consistently provides latency of less than 30ms.

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      Bankrupt OneWeb gets FCC approval for another 1,280 broadband satellites

      Jon Brodkin · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 27 August, 2020 - 19:16

    Illustration of a OneWeb satellite orbiting the Earth.

    Enlarge / Illustration of a OneWeb satellite. (credit: OneWeb )

    Amid a bankruptcy and a pending sale, OneWeb has secured US approval to offer broadband service from 2,000 satellites.

    OneWeb already had Federal Communications Commission approval for a 720-satellite constellation that was green-lit in June 2017. In an order released yesterday , the FCC gave OneWeb approval for another 1,280 satellites.

    The first 720 satellites, of which OneWeb has launched 74, are for low-Earth orbital altitudes of 1,200km. The additional 1,280 satellites were approved for medium-Earth orbits of 8,500km. Both are much lower than the 35,000km geostationary orbits used by traditional satellite-broadband networks, which should result in lower latency and a better experience for Internet users.

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