Some people living in rural areas of the UK are enjoying 'amazing' broadband connectivity after using Elon Musk's Starlink satellite wi-fi service. Starlink is a satellite internet system launched by Musk's company SpaceX to provide high-speed internet around the world.
Some of the early testers of the service in the UK have reported speeds of up to 215 megabits per second (Mbps). This is proving much faster than their traditional sources, which often offered a paltry 0.5 and 1 Mbps.
Speaking about the service, Aaron Wilkes, who lives in Bredgar, Kent, told the Press Association he usually manages about 20 Mbps, which is considerably slower than the 71.8 Mbps national average reported by Ofcom last year. After switching to Starlink, however, he has witnessed a huge improvement, with speeds averaging 175 Mbps and going all the way up to 215 Mbps.
He said: "We moved up to this small village and it was an absolute ball ache when we got our slow connection here. The ability to be able to download content so quickly compared to our standard BT line is amazing."
Martin Langmaid - who set up Starlink at his mother's home in Dunsford, Devon - said Starlink had helped his mum run her business in lockdown, adding that the £90 monthly subscription was pretty steep but at least provided a solution. He did add, however, that they were using a mixture of Starlink and 4G to deal with satellite outages.
Philip Hall, who lives in rural Devon, was one of the first in the UK to receive the kit - which includes a tripod, WiFi router and terminal - and test out the internet connection. He paid £439 ($610) for the kit and the monthly subscription will set him back £89 ($123).
According to reports, Mr Hall barely has any internet connection where he lives, which makes running a business and keeping in touch with people (especially at the moment) very difficult.
IT worker said: "Without broadband, you've got your arms behind your back."
Once the service was installed, his download speed jumped from 0.5 Mbps to between 85 and 90 Mbps, leaving him mightily impressed. "It was wonderful. It's a very exciting time," he said.