Viasat Still Unable to Stop SpaceX Starlink Launch

Viasat has not been able to stop SpaceX Starlink from launching more satellites. SpaceX just had another good launch.

This is the fourth good Starlink launch in May, 2021.

There are 1638 good Starlink satellites in orbit.

Viasat is begging the FCC now to stop SpaceX from crushing Viasat. Viasat will go to the courts to try to stop SpaceX Starlink. Viasat is using the excuse of needing an environmental study to be performed.

The FCC granted SpaceX’s request to lower the altitude of future satellites in the Starlink Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation. The FCC’s decision in April came despite protests from Viasat, Amazon, SES, and other satellite competitors.

The translation of the FCC protests is SpaceX competitors saying :
– help us. we are unable to compete against SpaceX. Either we cannot get our satellites into space or we have satellites that are forty times higher so they take 0.6 to 0.8 seconds to communicate with customers (latency).
– help us. Our high-altitude satellites are about to become worthless.
– please FCC stop or slow airlines and the military from being able to use a faster and low latency service.

You can also go to the Viasat blog where Viasat explains why latency is not a big deal. Viasat has some software and network prediction to minimize the latency lag. This does require them to guess what information you might need and waste your bandwidth if they guess wrong. Viasat also has quite low monthly data usage limits.

Here’s the super-condensed story: Unless you’re doing some types of online gaming or using “VPN” work-from-home software, satellite latency is not a big deal for most internet applications. If you’d like to learn more, read on.

What exactly is latency, anyway? Latency is a measurement of time delay in any kind of system. In satellite communications, it’s the length of time that it takes our signal to travel from your home to the satellite in orbit above the Earth), and then down to a ground-based gateway which connects you to the internet. Each leg of that journey is about 22,300 miles, which sounds like a long way until you realize that our signal travels at the speed of light ( 186,282 miles per second). The whole round-trip is measured in milliseconds, often referred to as “ping.” The ping on satellite internet is usually around 638 ms, compared to ping of 30 ms or less on a typical cable network.

How latency got a bad reputation Given that latency doesn’t really seem to slow things down that much, how did it get such a bad rap? Here’s the scoop, revealed here likely for the very first time: Earlier generations of satellite internet weren’t nearly as sophisticated.

SOURCES- SpaceX, Space News
Written by Brian Wang,

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