Starlink Turns On Laser Satellites For Region With Four Months Long Night

Ramish Zafar
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The Falcon 9 roars to the skies, shown in an image taken in Navajo Nation, Arizona. Image: todwod/Reddit

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SpaceX's Starlink satellite internet service has confirmed that it is using laser satellites to provide Internet connectivity to several regions and updated its global coverage map. Since opening up its beta service in 2020, Starlink has grown to become one of the fastest internet service providers globally, with consistent speed tests showing that it leads wired broadband internet coverage in download and upload speeds. A key point of interest for Starlink is the laser satellites, which remove some of the dependency that it has on ground stations to complete the connection with internet servers. These are also crucial for reducing latency since they change the route that a user's data takes when traveling between continents.

Starlink Providing Laser Internet Coverage In Australia, Canada And Antarctica

Today's reveal comes courtesy of an email that SpaceX representatives sent out to an upcoming Starlink customer in Canada who has ordered their dish and other equipment. The email outlined that Starlink has started to cover remote regions with its laser-equipped satellites. SpaceX has been regularly launching these satellites lately, and they are an improvement over the previous spacecraft. The spacecraft are also larger and have constrained the company's ability to launch more satellites with the Falcon 9 rocket.

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SpaceX's email was shared on Reddit by users in Canada, Antarctica and Alaska. It outlined that:

The Starlink team is currently servicing your location using inter-satellite links (aka space lasers).

Space lasers allow Starlink satellites to connect directly to one another, eliminating the need for a local ground station and enabling Starlink. to deliver service to some of the most remote locations in the world - like Antarctica.

The Starlink team is the first to deploy space laser technology at this scale, and your location is among the first to receive this service.

As part of the first, we encourage you to share your feedback. In particular, if you are experiencing spotty service or periods of poor connectivity, please reach out to our Support team. Both the performance and capacity of our space lasers will improve dramatically between now and the end of the year, which will increase the reliability of your connection and allow us to bring even more remote users online.

If for any reason you are not satisfied with your Starlink service, you can return the hardware within 30 days for a full refund. As always, you can cancel at any time on your account page.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you online!

The Starlink Team

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SpaceX has also updated its Starlink coverage map that is available on its website. This map shows the full scale of Starlink's global coverage and it shows that the service is now providing coverage across most of Europe, some regions of South America, Japan and Australia. Additionally, another remarkable addition is the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. Svalbard is one of the remotest regions in the world, where the Sun does not set for days and nights last for months. This is due to its unique location on the Earth, with Svalbard being above the Arctic Circle which then ends up keeping it permanently in the Sun's view or completely out of it.

Some of the areas where SpaceX aims to bring Starlink coverage next year include Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Egypt and the Bahamas. Additionally, after several reports this year of deteriorating coverage across America, SpaceX also plans to expand its service in the Southeast U.S. and other areas of Idaho and Washington.

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