Ofcom has given the thumbs-up to SpaceX's Starlink broadband user terminals, opening the door to a UK launch of Elon Musk's satellite-based broadband service. The approval – which was issued in November but only recently became public knowledge – pertains to the receiver equipment nicknamed internally by the company as "Dishy …
Right. For a price significantly higher than every other connection option. I'm sure they'll be providing them for free to any village without a cable any day now. I've seen this argument trotted out so many times; maybe we should actually see it done before we give them the credit for their humanitarian action? No? Maybe you can at least show me the documents where they've been getting them approved for developing countries where internet access is sparse?
1. Not everyone in the world has access to Eutelsat
2. Who said anything about doing it for free?
3. Does the USA count as a developing country? StarLink has already been used for disaster-relief there.
This is a commercial venture which will charge whatever they can get away with. I'm going to guess that they've done some market research before spending hundreds of millions of dollars launching satellites, and if they think people will pay more than for existing options (where there are any) then maybe they're onto something.
The "for free" is because people keep assuming it's going to be used to connect very much underdeveloped areas. And no, that doesn't include the United States, even in a disaster. It includes places where people have little access to electricity, let alone communications. No wires to carry the signal, so satellite would be the fastest way to get connection there. That's what people always say is the main reason I should accept this system; it's a humanitarian dream, connecting all the world together to lift everyone from ignorance, bringing education to those who can't afford what I have, yada yada. That dream is great. If they did it, I'd be very happy and I'd give them all sorts of licenses so they could get it done. I might even buy the more expensive service to make it easier for them to give the hardware to people who can't afford it.
They aren't doing that. They haven't even started to talk about any of the gnarly issues involved in doing that. Some nice chunks of speeches have mentioned it, and bunches of people online parrot back the arguments. I would like those who do so to realize that I don't believe they're going to actually realize any of those dreams, and I'll need proof. Until I get it, I can't give them any credit for humanitarianism and consider it only as a commercial product. As a commercial product, it has negative externalities that make it harder to swallow. The balancing positives need to be proven to me and likely to others before we would stop our objections.
I think you're missing that there are TWELVE THOUSAND satellites, not 12. It more than triples the number. There are currently only 6000 in total, and that's including the 1200 Musk has already launched.
You can't "filter it out" when it's half a dozen superbright streaks across the image. Do you even astronomy, bro?
It's often doable with someone motivated enough and technical enough involved: carefully aimed point-to-point Yagis, assuming the terrain isn't completely against it. Pick the farm on the hill to get the pipe, and turn its roof into a hedgehog. Although if it is against the Ts&Cs, this may be difficult to disguise when BroadBandCorp come knocking...
Even if the T&Cs do not permit sharing, I don't see how it could be detected if you ignore that rule. However people stuck out in the boonies tend to live quite a distance from each other, so sharing an Internet connection might involve installing some expensive equipment (microwave links, laser links, laying fibre etc.)
That is Elon's official name for the current offering. The Ofcom approval is only an authorization to offer the beta in the UK.
Starlink has worked with a few rural groups, primarily indigenous tribes and schools from what I can see, to install the beta service. For an example see: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/pikangikum-spacex-starlink-1.5824234
I think this is good. start. still more to go, it will get cheaper as we go ( i hope)
Cheap mobile (voip) phones that will link with this i hope will be next.
All Hale his muskyness , Musk for president of the US of W !
yes i'm a fan , bring it on , down vote me now while still time.
So what you are saying is that you hope that a launch on a exactly predefined trajectory, doesn't crash in to a satellite, also on a exactly predefined trajectory.
I personally don't think hope comes in to it, just maths.
Also note, the satellite are released below their final orbit and climb up using onboard thrusters, so the actual launch itself could not have this happen.
It would only move occasionally, otherwise it would simply wear out. Plus, things moving under their own automatic control probably wouldn't be allowed without safety precautions, even on the ladder high side of a house (it could push you off the ladder)
We used to have a big dish, 30 years ago. It would move to switch satellites. Except we very rarely did. Imagine the surprise when it crushed a load of bushes and half the rotary drier one day!
SpaceX has reportedly reacted to an open letter requesting accountability for Elon Musk by firing those involved.
The alleged dismissals come just two days after an open letter to SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell began circulating in a SpaceX Teams channel. The missive from employees said Musk's recent actions have been a source of distraction and embarrassment for SpaceX staff.
The letter asked for the company to "swiftly and explicitly separate itself" from Musk's personal brand, hold all leadership accountable for their actions, and asked that SpaceX clearly define what behaviors it considers unacceptable. The authors also said the company failed to apply its stated diversity, equity, and inclusion goals, "resulting in a workplace culture that remains firmly rooted in the status quo."
SpaceX is one step closer to securing a permit to launch not just its first rocket from Boca Chica, Texas but its reusable super-heavy lifter at that.
And by one step closer, we mean: the US Federal Aviation Administration has issued more than 75 requirements for SpaceX to fulfill, which are aimed at minimizing the environmental impact of its launches on residents and wildlife.
Those requirements [PDF], made public Monday by the watchdog, list a series of concerns and actions SpaceX needs to take before it can hope to get the green light to use Boca Chica as intended. The FAA wants SpaceX to complete this environmental review and mitigate the effects of repeatedly launching and landing its giant reusable 120-metre Starship on the air, water, climate, peace and quiet, and land around the launchpad.
If the proposed addition of the 12GHz spectrum to 5G goes forward, Starlink broadband terminals across America could be crippled, or so SpaceX has complained.
The Elon Musk biz made the claim [PDF] this week in a filing to the FCC, which is considering allowing Dish to operate a 5G service in the 12GHz band (12.2-12.7GHz). This frequency range is also used by Starlink and others to provide over-the-air satellite internet connectivity.
SpaceX said its own in-house study, conducted in Las Vegas, showed "harmful interference from terrestrial mobile service to SpaceX's Starlink terminals … more than 77 percent of the time, resulting in full outages 74 percent of the time." It also claimed the interference will extend to a minimum of 13 miles from base stations. In other words, if Dish gets to use these frequencies in the US, it'll render nearby Starlink terminals useless through wireless interference, it was claimed.
A group of employees at SpaceX wrote an open letter to COO and president Gwynne Shotwell denouncing owner Elon Musk's public behavior and calling for the rocket company to "swiftly and explicitly separate itself" from his personal brand.
The letter, which was acquired through anonymous SpaceX sources, calls Musk's recent behavior in the public sphere a source of distraction and embarrassment. Musk's tweets, the writers argue, are de facto company statements because "Elon is seen as the face of SpaceX."
Musk's freewheeling tweets have landed him in hot water on multiple occasions – one incident even leaving him unable to tweet about Tesla without a lawyer's review and approval.
A letter has been filed with America's communications watchdog confirming that SpaceX and OneWeb, which are building mega-constellations of broadband satellites, are content to play nicely.
The letter sweeps all the unpleasantness between the two neatly under the rug "after extensive good-faith coordination discussions." Despite what could charitably be described as snarky remarks about each other to the FCC over the years, the duo have agreed that their first-generation broadband satellite services can, after all, co-exist.
"Their respective second-round systems can also efficiently coexist with each other while protecting their respective first-round systems," the memo, dated June 13 and shared by Reuters' journo Joey Roulette today, reads.
Twitter has reportedly thrown its $44 billion buyout by Elon Musk to a shareholder vote, which could take place around late July or early August.
Execs told employees of the plans on Wednesday, according to outlets including CNBC and the Financial Times.
In a report published earlier this week, the Secure World Foundation, a space-oriented NGO, warned that in the past few years there's been a surge of interest in offensive counterspace weapons that can disrupt space-based services.
"The existence of counterspace capabilities is not new, but the circumstances surrounding them are," the report [PDF] says. "Today there are increased incentives for development, and potential use, of offensive counterspace capabilities."
"There are also greater potential consequences from their widespread use that could have global repercussions well beyond the military, as huge parts of the global economy and society are increasingly reliant on space applications."
Elon Musk must personally secure $33.5 billion to fund his $44 billion Twitter purchase after allowing a $12.5 billion margin loan against Tesla stock to expire.
Regulatory filings released Wednesday show the Tesla and SpaceX boss agreeing to secure "an additional $6.25 billion in equity financing" on top of the original $27.3 billion.
The Tesla boss's Twitter purchase originally relied on $21bn of equity that he had to provide along with $12.5bn in margin loans secured by his Tesla stock. That margin loan was dropped to $6.25bn on May 5, and this additional financing would eliminate it altogether.
Starlink customers who've been itching to take their dish on the road can finally do so – for a price.
The Musk-owned satellite internet service provider quietly rolled out a feature this week called Portability which, for an additional $25 per month, will allow customers to take their service with them anywhere on the same continent – provided they can find a clear line-of-sight to the sky and the necessary power needed to keep the data flowing.
That doesn't mean potential Starlink customers sign up for service in an area without a wait list and take their satellite to a more congested area. Sneaky, but you won't get away with it. If Starlink detects a dish isn't at its home address, there's no guarantee of service if there's not enough bandwidth to go around, or there's another outage.
Space launch contender Rocket Lab has successfully demonstrated its peculiar method of capturing spent rocket boosters so they can be re-used: catching them with a helicopter as they fall.
The outfit planned to make the catch on April 29, but bad weather delayed the mission.
The skies cleared today and the mission – dubbed “There and back again” – sent 34 satellites aloft after launching from New Zealand's Mahia Peninsula. The Electron booster used for the launch then returned to Earth beneath a parachute.
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