Regarding the Dec. 30 article “Better Internet Coming? Not So Fast”:
The FCC did award SpaceX to meet the broadband needs of nearly every area in Pacific County, but due to the nature of SpaceX's internet offering they can supply that service to the entire county easily. SpaceX has built, and is continuing to expand upon, a service called Starlink.
Starlink is a massive satellite constellation that surrounds the planet, with the hopes of providing high-speed broadband to nearly the entire globe. With the exception to some higher latitudes, all areas should be able to get service. This includes the entire state of Washington. In fact, one resident of White Salmon has already joined the early beta version.
SpaceX is able to utilize their cheap rocket-launch capability to build out this satellite network in record time. The upside for residents in Pacific County is they will soon be able to sign up for this service to obtain high-speed, low-latency internet. From reports, the costs will be $500 for the antenna (and $100 extra for an optional roof mount) and $100 a month for the service.
The setup is a flat dish on a stand that needs a clear view of the sky and it is connected to a wifi router. And that is all the infrastructure you need to get high-speed internet. While other satellite internet services have existed in the past, this current offering differs in that these satellites are in low earth orbit, not high geosynchronous orbit. Thus latency is as low as terrestrial internet offerings like those from the cable company.
While county residents may be many years from getting good terrestrial internet service, good satellite internet is likely less than 12 months away.