Owl Creek Farm » Tools, Products & How To » Rural Internet Part 2

Rural Internet Part 2

by Amy

In 2020, I wrote Part 1, about the benefits of internet and how high speed broadband internet has become necessary in today’s world of sharing videos, steaming TV shows, and instantaneous contact with everyone all over the world. Anyone in a first world city has nearly guaranteed access to fast internet via fiber lines or cell data, but the majority of the planet has to make do with lower quality lines and/or poor signal quality, and I was eagerly awaiting our turn at joining the modern world.

We’ve had Starlink for a little over a year. Say what you want about Elon Musk (no, really, go ahead and say it, they guy has to have his head screwed on weird to post the crazy stuff he does online), but this internet has been phenomenal. We have speeds that keep everyone happy even when download huge 100gb games and low latency so those games are playable, and so much data that we can’t hope to use it all. It’s rarely down, usually a few seconds per month, with a couple outages under 30 minutes total all together over the passed year-plus.

starlink latency difference from traditional satelllites | image credit starlink.com

The base Starlink kit is on currently on sale for Canadians for just $199. We paid full price since we jumped on it as soon as it was available, but it was worth that cost too. In Alberta, with GST (5% sales tax), the monthly cost is not cheap at $147, but we were paying ~$100 for fixed wireless that was down way too often, with speeds and latency that were barely usable. THERE IS NO CONTRACT, GUYS! There’s also options for people who travel a lot (with options for static service from one location to the next, or mobile service that works on the road), businesses, and maritime, with aviation options coming soon. It’s kind of amazing. Really it’s totally amazing.

It’s easy to set up. You can go low tech and put it on the ground in your yard, find a mouseproof way to get the cable into the house, and you’re set (this is what we’re doing right now. Or you can buy different mounts and set it on the roof, attach it to a pole or fence, whatever works best for you. It’s easy. Snowmelt mode works fantastic! Just don’t let several feet of snow build a wall around the face of the dish and it’ll keep itself clear.

It’s not perfect, no. I’ve heard some people just have no luck with their service and go back to what they had before, but they are few in number. If you end up being one that just can’t make it work, the kit is returnable in 30 days or you can resell it if you’re passed that time – people will buy it!

The actual major downside to Starlink in it’s current incarnation is customer support. It’s a lengthy wait to get help so having backup (say, a second dish and cable in case of failure or damage) isn’t a bad idea. Hopefully that side of their business improves soon.

I get no compensation of any kind for writing this. the service is just so great for rural folks like us that I want to take the time to encourage anyone that isn’t happy with their current service to try Starlink out. 

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