Elon Musk’s plan to bring high-speed internet to rural Canadians may have been greenlit, but it’s not all fun and games. It turns out that Starlink, the internet service created by Musk’s Space X, has a couple of downsides. For starters, it’s expensive. Secondly, it could cause light pollution that locals fear will ruin stargazing into the night sky.
So let’s start with a refresher on what Starlink is all about. The satellite internet initiative was created by Elon Musk’s Space X, with a plan was to launch thousands of small satellites into Earth’s orbit. These satellites hover at 550 kilometres above Earth and serve as sort-of internet boosters for the computers on the ground.
For comparison, a regular telecommunication satellite typically orbits at 22,000 kilometres. Starlink is able to provide faster internet speed and remove barriers to rural communities such as virtual health care services, education, and more.
Several thousand more Starlink beta participation invitations going out this week
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2020
Starlink has now been implemented in a few rural Canadian communities, and while it is getting good reviews in terms of internet speed, it’s also gotten some backlash when it comes to the price tag. To buy the gear needed to use Starlink, users have to fork over $649 plus tax. On top of that, they have to install the kit themselves, then pay an additional $129 per month of service. Needless to say, some folks in rural communities haven’t been too pleased about all that.
Along with the price tag, folks are worried about what all these satellites in orbit with do to the Earth. Starlink plans to launch 42,000 satellites in total, which experts have said could drastically change the way the night sky looks.
So there you have it. With every good thing, there’s bound to be some bad. But what do you think? Is high-speed internet worth the price and potential impacts? Sound off in the comments.