Technology US: Washington emergency responders first to use SpaceX’s Starlink internet in the field: ‘It’s amazing’

tom_mai78101

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The Starlink satellite internet network that SpaceX is developing has been used in the field by Washington state emergency responders in recent weeks, the first early application of the company’s service to be disclosed.

Washington’s state military, which includes its emergency response division, began employing Starlink user terminals in early August to bring internet service to areas devastated by wildfires. User terminals are the small devices on the ground that connect to the satellites. The emergency division has seven Starlink user terminals, which it is deploying with early success.

“I have never set up any tactical satellite equipment that has been as quick to set up, and anywhere near as reliable” as Starlink, Richard Hall, the emergency telecommunications leader of the Washington State Military Department’s IT division, told CNBC in an interview Monday.

Starlink is the name for SpaceX’s ambitious plan to build an interconnected internet satellite network, also known as a “constellation,” to deliver high-speed internet to anywhere on the planet.

The full Starlink network is planned to have about 12,000 satellites flying in what is known as low Earth orbit, much closer to the surface than traditional broadband satellites. Hall, whose division has used other satellite broadband services, said “there’s really no comparison” between Starlink and traditional networks, where the satellites are farther away from the Earth in Geosynchronous or medium earth orbits.


Read more here. (CNBC)
 
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