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Craig discusses Elon Musk’s Starlink Satellite project and what it means for Rural internet users.

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Automated Machine-Generated Transcript:

Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] Elon Musk, he’s been doing some amazing things with technology. he’s trying to change the way all of your internet access works, all of your phone calls work. He’s eventually going to try and get all of this embedded into our new smartphones.

I’m not even sure we can call them smartphones anymore. Craig Peterson here. When was the last time you made a phone call on that smartphone of yours? Just not using them for that anymore.

We’re using them for browsing the internet. I’ve used them many times going online and doing video conferences. I use them for checking websites for doing research, even for ordering stuff. I do all of that using my smartphone. I don’t know. We’ve got to come up with a better name for these things.

Now, Elon Musk stands out a lot about where technology’s going he’s been really very insightful on all of this.

Of course, that insight eventually anyways, can build serious value. Look at what just happened with Apple, the first company to pass $2 trillion public company, $2 trillion in market capitalization. That is huge. And by the way, Apple reached the $2 trillion mark about two years after it set the last record, which was a trillion dollars in market capitalization. Apple didn’t invent the idea of a smartphone or personal digital assistant. None of that stuff. They just made it better. They did not invent MP3 three players. I had one I really liked, and it was, I think, much better, had much better audio in it. Originally designed by digital equipment corporation, a company I did some contract work for. But made by another third party and sold in a third party, they just licensed the technology was phenomenal.

 But when the iPod came out, it just basically wiped out the rest of the market. And nowadays who buys an audio player anymore, very few of us. That’s not what we’re interested in.

We have our smartphone with us or the data on the smartphone. We download podcasts. We download music. actually, you know what? That was last year, maybe two years ago, because now we have data plans that work almost everywhere. We are in the United States. In fact, throughout Europe and other places as well. My plan covers Europe and other places. It’s just amazing.

So we have a lot of data available to us and we’re used to it. So if you’re traveling coast to coast and if you’re staying on the major interstates or even major state highways, you’re going to find that you always have data connectivity, at least almost all of the time, if not, absolutely all of the time.

So how do you deal with this? We’re finding that even though things like your iPhones and heaven forbid if you have an Android because of the security problems we talk about almost every week. Get rid of it. That’s my advice. I’m prejudiced here and I’m not always going to be with Apple and I’m not a huge Apple fan. I’m just a huge fan of their technology and what they’ve done. They were the real adults about it all.

Anyhow, we’re driving down the highway. We can now listen to anything or you, many of you guys might be listening to this as a podcast. We’re listening to it. We’re enjoying it. We’re having fun. We’re not downloading them.

Many of us just don’t download anymore. So you can certainly subscribe to a podcast, for instance, subscribe to your favorite radio station and to have it downloaded. But most of us know, no we’re, we are streaming. So there are still people that download like me and there are all are still areas in the United States where there just isn’t enough data service. Particularly when you start getting up into some of the Northern States, there are really internet deserts.

I’m carried in the Northeast and I can tell you from people who contact me all the time, Northern Maine, central Maine, and also New Hampshire parts of Vermont, a lot of Vermont, in fact, have almost no internet service.

Now, Vermont it’s their own fault because they don’t want those terrible, heaven forbid, poles put up that have cable on them. Or the poles already exist having a cable on them. So let’s just put Vermont aside, right?

Although this is going to benefit them hugely. Because what we’re talking about now is a constellation of satellites. We’re going to talk about what our friend Elon Musk is doing, but you know what, he’s not the only one out there that is putting up a constellation of satellites. Now, what is a constellation of satellites? It is really a whole bunch of satellites that are tying together, performing the same function, and are really going to give you a whole new experience when it comes out.

When it comes down to how we can access things online? What we’re going to access? When we’re going to access it? All of the stuff that frankly really matters. So they tie them all together.

Now with our friends over at SpaceX, their constellation of satellites is being called Starlink. Which is really, that’s a cool name, isn’t it? Starlink. It reminds me of Marvel, right? Star-Lord. Starlink is a whole network that will eventually be hundreds and hundreds of satellites that are in low earth orbit. Now, what that means is they are down low. So that they can hear faint signals from our devices and can also use less power to reach us.

So that’s the bottom line on it now in low earth orbit, it means you’re going to get a little bit more drag, some more pull from the earth. They’re going to have to try and keep themselves in that order, in that orbit. But what we’re looking at now is these rural areas that have particularly slow internet speeds or no real speed at all.

Some people. Can only get about a megabit worth of bandwidth. Now compare that to me, where I’m in a decent metropolitan area. I’m right by a Comcast central office and I have three gigabits. Worth of bandwidth on fiber coming right in here, which is just absolutely phenomenal. I got to say, Comcast, people might complain about them, but I have had zero problems with this network connection. It’s absolutely fantastic. I use it for my business and for my home. It’s just amazing.

So how about everybody else? how about the people that are paying way too much? For some of these data packages that are out there. that’s where Elon Musk is hoping that Starlink is really gonna help out.

They’re seeing upload speeds right now from about five megabits to about 20 megabits, which isn’t bad, not bad at all latency, which is the time it takes for a packet to get to the satellite. And back has ranged from about 20 milliseconds up to about a hundred milliseconds, which is really not bad. I remember the days when a hundred milliseconds was, Oh my gosh, that’s amazing.

On your local network. Okay. They have a target reaching gigabit speeds, which is phenomenal. And most people that have the beta are getting 50 megabit speed. So imagine that gigabit speeds from a satellite. All you have to do is put a small satellite dish outside. So let me give you a little hint here.

You can go two starlink.com right now on your web browser, starlink.com. And on that website, you can put in your name and your address as a service address is asking for. And if you are selected, Elon Musk’s people at Starlink will give you they’ll charge you a dollar for a satellite dish that you can mount yourself in 20 minutes to an hour, depending on how complex it’s going to be, where you are at. Month two, it goes up to $2 and they want you to use it a lot, so they can test it out.

So kudos out to Elon Musk, but also all of these other companies that are doing much the same thing with putting up their own constellations.

All right. Stick around when we come back.

Hey, if you are an IT person for your business, I’ve got some NSA and FBI news for you.

Stick around. Cause we’ll be right back. You’re listening to Craig Peterson.

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