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Discuss: SpaceX Wins Subsidy for Rural Internet

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December 8, 2020 at 17:15:39
Specs: Windows 10, 1.4 GHz / 5610 MB
Hi all,

This week's poll question is about news that SpaceX has won an $850 million dollar subsidy to help get internet access to rural Americans. Discuss here if you think SpaceX's satellite network will succeed where others have failed, and, if you like, the poll results themselves.


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December 9, 2020 at 09:41:24
It may sound good to a lot of people that don't care about all the crap floating around our planet. We have an orbiting junkyard. A lot of the old satellites don't even work anymore. A different slant is that Musk and his cohorts aren't satisfied with money. They also want power. I say that because the internet is so full of misinformation

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December 9, 2020 at 15:05:59
If satellite is all you have for internet access... it's tres vulnerable to all manner of nasties. Solar flares, collisions with assorted items already floating about up there and starting to drift about...; "hostile" action from just about anywhere - be from terra (so so) firma, or "out there Skully".

At least landline systems are a wee bit less vulnerable - most of the time; especially if underground. If the cables are strung out on poles then of course equally vulnerable to all manner of damage/interruptions...

And as for 3,4, 5 etc. G radiated out from whatever height... distance/coverage gets worse as they up the frequency; and then there's all manner of issues that may /may not be sound re' elf 'n safety...

Regardless of which system is used to get the web out there... the money boys will ensure they make a packet from it; and also will have power to control etc. what you may/may not use it for, see and so on...; and charge premium prices in some situations for the privilege of being on their systems.

So SpaceX chappies will be OK and rolling in the cash...

As regards the assorted junk already up there... I doubt the people who launch it all really care what happens to their kit after it's served it useful purpose in life.

message edited by trvlr

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December 9, 2020 at 17:19:24
Again, not defending Musk (nor am I a fan), but there's a huge gap in the "haves" and the "have-nots" here in rural America (particularly in my neck of the woods). This "remote-learning" that kids are having to do thanks to COVID just doesn't work with dial-up. There's too many people who don't have any access to any type of broadband. Satellite won't be the panacea that Musk or Bezo would like to convince everyone, but something has to be done in the locations that no cable/phone/wireless will ever consider servicing.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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December 9, 2020 at 17:34:15
Very fair point by T.R.A.

The distances in US/Canada often mean that some areas get very poor service from the companies providing internet etc. The same persists in the UK, in some parts outside major urban areas. There are villages with very poor dialup services and the big boys who provide the cabling demand humongous payments to install something half decent...

Some of these (UK) areas are not that far outside many major towns/cities..., and unless they pay for private installation cabling to get a decent service, they’ll be left out in the boon docks for a lot longer yet.

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December 9, 2020 at 18:10:56
It's not just the lack of people here, but the terrain, weather (which I've previously mentioned), and lack of infrastructure in these mountainous areas means that no one will ever be able to deliver broadband through any type of wire/cable/fiber and make a profit. I'm one of the fortunate ones, having a 4G tower less than a mile away. But up until February of this year I was like everyone else, getting service from ATT on what they euphemistically called U-Verse. 3 technicians visited over the course of 2 years and all determined that the 1.5MBs connection was the best I would be able to attain through the nearly 70-year-old copper lines (even though they advertised up to 10MBs).

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

message edited by T-R-A

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