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Starlink: A ‘game-changer’ for a connected life in rural Mexico?

Elon Musk's internet system could be a make life outside city limits more viable

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
A pair of SpaceX Falcon Heavy boosters make a simultaneous landing after launching the first Falcon Heavy rocket into orbit in February 2018. Photo: SpaceX

Starlink is aiming to be the first company to offer consumers high-speed broadband internet with truly global coverage — which would include even the most remote areas of Yucatán.

This new competitor in the international telecommunications market is an offshoot of Elon Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX, which is responsible for launching the network of satellites necessary to achieve Starlink’s goal.

For now, Starlink is offering its service only through a beta test in select markets for US$100 a month. The service also requires the purchase of a US$499 kit. Though pricy, for those living in remote areas, this technology may be a game changer.

Local real estate agent Julian Zarate notes, “fast and reliable satellite internet access could be a game-changer for those looking to buy property in Yucatan’s countryside.”

Musk describes Starlink’s network of satellites as a constellation, given that unlike traditional satellite systems, this new network relies on thousands of interfaced micro-satellites that will dot the night sky across the globe. However, Starlink is not without its detractors. Specialists and policymakers are concerned that these satellites will clutter up the night sky and pose a threat to other satellites and vehicles in orbit.

It remains unknown when the service will be available worldwide but it is possible to register on starlink.com for updates, including when the service will be coming to any specific area. No price point has been set for the service once it is out of its beta testing phase, but the company has suggested that it will be considerably lower than its current price and that of competitors.

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