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Starlink satellite internet is faster than broadband in five Canadian provinces

Starlink satellite internet is faster than broadband in five Canadian provinces

A report by Ookla revealed that Elon Musk's Starlink Internet has faster average download speeds than fixed broadband in Canada, making it an attractive option for people living in rural areas.

The Q2 2021 study showed that Starlink boasts of impressive speeds for a satellite internet service. In Canada, Starlink achieved an average download speed of 86.92 Mbps during the second quarter of 2021, a haze over fixed broadband, which scored 84.24 Mbps.

Starlink was never supposed to be the be-all, end-all benchmark in speed. Instead, it aims to provide reliable Internet service anywhere on the planet, whether in the middle of the Amazon rain forest or in a sprawling urban center. In Canada, Starlink is targeting remote areas where fixed broadband is not possible.

Plus, its 55 ms latency is a stunner. Although it does not outperform 12 ms broadband internet, it still improves services in rural areas without a wired connection. Satellite Internet is often the only option in many remote areas of Canada. The Ookla report emphasizes that Starlink is the only satellite Internet service that can be compared to fixed broadband, an important metric for communications and gaming.

Starlink provided broadband average download speeds in five of the eight provinces measured: Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Saskatchewan. It remained on par with broadband in Alberta and Ontario, and was lost only in British Columbia.

Starlink exclusively uses low-orbit satellites that hover between 550 and 1200 km, which are much closer to the Earth's surface than normal geosynchronous satellites that float at about 35,000 km. In addition to reducing latency, low-Earth orbit satellites also reduce space junk because they easily fall back to Earth when idling.

To date, Starlink has launched over 1,700 satellites, although some have been decommissioned as planned. The company plans to launch 1,500 satellites in 2021. Eventually, it wants to build 40,000 satellites to achieve its broad global coverage vision.

The largely untapped satellite Internet market has been slowly heating up over the past few years. Amazon has also announced plans to build its own Internet satellite cluster consisting of about 3,200 satellites. The company signed a contract for nine launches with United Launch Alliance in April 2021, which is expected to pursue its satellite program codenamed Project Kuniper in the near future.

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