MAINERS USING ELON MUSK’S SATELLITE INTERNET SAY IT’S NO SILVER BULLET FOR RURAL ACCESS
SpaceX’s satellite service is bringing warp-speed internet to rural parts of Maine, but early users say its high price and dropped connections may limit its contribution to widely expanding Maine’s lagging high-speed internet.
The much-anticipated Starlink satellite network operates in an orbit that is much closer to Earth and holds many more satellites than those in existing networks, factors the company claims account for high speeds. One Reddit poster who says they live in rural Maine boasted last year of download speeds 33 times higher with Starlink than their previous service.
But much remains unknown about the experimental network even as it has won federal funds to expand rural internet access in Maine, including whether it can keep its fast speeds when more customers and electronic devices are connected and to what degree it can be scaled to accommodate more users. It is being tested by about 10,000 users worldwide, according to a recent report SpaceX filed with federal regulators.