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Bandwidth goes vertical
by Mark Anderson
This week, cellular industry founder Craig McCaw filed a "blank check" offering for a new $250M company that would participate, in telecommunications, of course, among other things. In listing his background achievements, Craig neglected to mention Teledesic, an exciting but failed effort to put up about 1,000 satellites to provide broadband to the world. It was a great idea, but before its time.
With a little luck with weather, by the end of this week, SpaceX will have added another 60 satellites to its current Starlink constellation of 540. Much more exciting, the company has been signing up beta users for initial VIP and public tests of the system, under strict rules for use, NDA-limited discussion (none allowed), installation, and equipment returns. (See "Upgrades" below.)
Starlink is set to provide up to 1Gps service to north-facing ground satellites, which can then feed attached Wi-Fi routers, PCs, phones, and so on.
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