While it doesn't stand to make too much of a difference for urban and suburban areas, Starlink could be a huge boon for rural communities. It's currently in beta with no data cap. And now we have an indication of where coverage is during this initial rollout.
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PCMag received exclusive speed test data from Ookla, detailing where exactly Starlink users are at the moment. The company located US counties with at least 30 Starlink users in them, counting from December. It then compared Starlink speeds to the other more traditional ISPs in those areas.
With satellite internet, there's a fixed amount of satellites and therefore a set number of people who can access them. Although rural communities stand to gain the most from the service, Ookla found a surprising amount of Starlink beta testers in Seattle, Chicago, and Minneapolis (where there are faster ISPs available).
"I'm not surprised to see a massive demand for Starlink Internet," said Shrihari Pandit, president and CEO of Stealth Communications, a New York City-based fiber gigabit internet services company, in an email interview with Tom's Guide. "Users experience with telco/cable company's speeds and reliability leave something to be desired, even in NYC!"
Elon Musk said that Starklink will target the more northern parts of the country along the Canada border. Washington state has the most users according to Ookla, but there are quite a few in the Santa Clara and Los Angeles counties in California (where the SpaceX and Tesla headquarters are). A smaller number of users reside in Canyon County, Idaho, Cook County, Illinois, and Berrien County, Michigan.
“Based on Starlink's current satellite and ground-station deployment, their highest link-availability (uptime) is limited to the Northern portion of the United States in this initial phase," said Pandit. "As additional satellites and orbital planes come online, we will see southern locations open up to beta later this year. It will result in improved performance, link availability, and most importantly, the ability for Starlink to handle larger amount of concurrent users for a geographical area."
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Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He's written about phones for over six years and plans to continue for a long while to come. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. Jordan likes finding new things to dive into, from books and games to new mechanical keyboard switches and fun keycap sets. Outside of work, you can find him poring over open-source software and his studies.
I live I east-central Ohio just started the beta yesterday.Reply
How's the speed and service? Any issues? Do you use a lot of bandwidth? I'm in Guernsey County and considering this. Thanks.Reply
I'm averaging around 70mbps down 20 up and 20-35ms latency. I believe it's still invite-only. You submit your email and address and then they contact you. Equipment is $499 + shippingReply
What kind of down time are you currently seeing. I am in Shelby County in Ohio.Reply
Also is there a tracker site that you can use to see the coverage area of the passing satellite?
Hey Donald, In Licking county here. When did you sign up for Beta? Curious how long it actually took for you to get selected.Reply
Any news on others getting service? I am in SE Ohio. I signed up in the middle of February and haven't heard anything at this time.Reply