Why The Future Of Satellite Internet Might Be Decided In Rural Alaska

Service in the rural areas of the state is abysmal, which makes it the perfect place to test next-generation satellite internet.

MIT Technology Review has the full story HERE.



Least Connected

This link is to an award-winning article examining the lack of connectivity on an Idaho Indian Reservation. The article reminded me of the struggle people who live in North San Juan have with connectivity. There was a ridge top with some connectivity. Each morning cars gathered on a temporary parking area and with coffee cup in hand passengers downloaded their mail and crafted some replies, collected product orders, and work assignments and then went home. Later in the evening, the same groups of vehicles assembled to repeat the processes, with an additional movie download for the evening entertainment.

While this article is about connective on a Reservation, many other communities across America struggle for some connectivity.

Full Article is HERE.


Presidential Candidate: Klobuchar Touts Broadband For 2020

— Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) last year turned heads in the tech sphere by suggesting Democrats could “run on” and even “win on” wonky-but-important issues like rural broadband on the 2020 campaign trail. On Thursday, she put that theory to the test by unveiling a major infrastructure proposal that seeks to “connect every household to the internet by 2022.” According to a blog post, the “plan will help close the urban-rural divide by creating accurate broadband maps to identify areas that lack adequate access … and provide greater incentives for existing providers to use funds to upgrade their networks to cover unserved and underserved areas.”

Source: POLITICO Morning Tech

From the Amy Klobuchar web site:

Amy is proposing a bold, trillion-dollar plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure, invest in our future, and create millions of good-paying American jobs.

Broadband Infrastructure Proposal:

Connect every household to the internet by 2022. Roughly one in four rural Americans say access to high-speed internet is a major problem. That’s why as President, Amy will connect every household in America to the internet by 2022. Amy’s plan will help close the urban-rural divide by creating accurate broadband maps to identify areas that lack adequate access, focus on bringing high-speed internet infrastructure to areas most in need, and provide greater incentives for existing providers to use funds to upgrade their networks to cover unserved and underserved areas. Broadband creates jobs, opens new economic opportunities, and allows America to compete and succeed in an increasingly digital world.

I would like to have more information on the How. Throwing money at the problem has not solved it yet.


OneWeb CEO Adrian Steckel On Big Tech’s Space Race

OneWeb CEO Adrian Steckel joins “Squawk Alley” to discuss the company’s ability to secure its largest funding to date, and its first successful satellite launch.

The video is HERE.

Some high points, the satellites cost one million each. Airbus is currently building one a day, with a goal of two a day by end of the year.  The service will start when then satellites 650 are in orbit.  First customer targets are airlines, cruise ships, and marine transportation fleets.  Also, significant targets are schools around the world, with government sponsorship.  Over time the service cost will be reduced for standalone users.  Watch the video for all the details.

Added comment:

Starting around October, OneWeb expects to launch 30 or so more satellites every month as it looks to build a constellation of 650 satellites in low Earth orbit.

At that launch rate, it will take 22 months to reach 650 birds in orbit, assuming no failed launches and fully operational satellites.  Services could start in the summer of 2021.

If I were on the school board of a rural school with poor broadband,  I would be budgeting and writing grants for a OneWeb terminal for my school. Be prepared for the start of the 2021 school year, with a OneWeb Terminal using WiFi broadband distribution.

OneWeb Terminal

SpaceX Starlink Progress Report

SpaceX Starlink spacecraft design continues to evolve according to a 13 March letter to the FCC, responding to questions on the Constellation architecture. The initial fleet of 75 Starlink spacecraft will include iron components including hall thrusters and reaction wheels which could survive reentry.

According to the attached letter:

  • The new spacecraft design is 100% consumable during atmospheric reentry.
  • Spacecraft will initially be launched to ~350km for orbital checkout prior to rising to its operational altitude.
  • Failure to check out the spacecraft will fall back to earth in weeks or months depending on how active the sun is. An active sun expands the atmosphere increasing drag.

Attached Letter HERE.