Back in my childhood hometown in Calhoun County, West Virginia, my high school friend Bill Bailey says his DSL connection gives him an “average speed of 27Kbps.” That’s Kilobits per second. He might do better with a modem. It’s not just him. Tens of millions of Americans who live in the country can only dream of having broadband. The answer to their internet dreams may lie in the skies above them, with SpaceX Starlink satellites.
SpaceX has applied for the Federal Communication Commission’s up-to $16 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). This is a plan to bring broadband — with download speeds of at least 25Mbps — to six million homes and businesses, which currently have no broadband. As part of its presentation, Starlink showed internet performance tests with download speeds of between 102Mbps to 103Mbps, upload speeds of 40.5Mbps to not quite 42Mbps, and a latency of 18 milliseconds