Some people go to great lengths to reach Nirvana including personal discovery, self-reflection, and philosophic exploration. For myself, being a simple old country boy, I got Starlink internet. Yes, Elon’s space-hogging project to bring broadband internet to redneck land and other parts generally known as the Sticks.
Most rednecks locally do not really care for Elon because of his “always right” attitude without regard to the fact that he usually is. Rednecks don’t need a reason to not like something, it’s born in our blood. The only thing we don’t bitch about is Momma… at least not where she can hear us.
And it seems that no matter how red our neck is, we love our technology, at least some of us that don’t hold onto the old ways. In fact, we love our technology as much as we love going to town but if the town was the internet, we’d be driving a Model T.
What we want is a four-wheel drive, modern monster pickup truck that will hog bandwidth and play our favorite tunes from our streaming service of choice, without interruption or stopping altogether. When you love streaming… the radio doesn’t cut it anymore. Too many commercials, too much talk, and not enough Porter Wagoner and Dolly.
Ok, Porter and Dolly are a bit too far back for me, and even though my neck is red… I love my rock music along with Garth and even some Buck Owens. Strange as that mix is, streaming can serve it up in ways over the air stations cannot match.
We also love to watch movies without buffering or interrupted playback. In general, we want to be civilized.
Like you city folks we want fast internet. The fact that I talk about nearby towns instead of nearby cities should enlighten you a bit about our population. We’re one of the areas where cows outnumber people by an embarrassing margin. Not exactly a promising market for expensive infrastructure investments.
Then danged if ole Elon doesn’t come along with Starlink and give us rednecks just what we want and need to thrive in a connected world. You need to remember that broadband in my part of the country usually means a girl band playing at the local watering hole. Apologies to women everywhere but that is just one of the reasons we are redneck-land.
The facts are… it’s fast. Compared to the 20-year-old 15 Mbps DSL service I was using it is a blazing, warp speed, drop your jaw on a download, speedster on steroids. If the speed of light is fast, then Starlink is… well... not that fast but close enough to use as a redneck analogy.
Results are regularly 140 to 160 Mbps or higher on my desktops with a range of 400 Mbps to 822 Mbps on my phone. Basically, I have gone from 15 Mbps service to 140 or more with a small, rectangular dish that actually looks a bit sexy along with an easy “plug it in, turn it on and let it work” setup. Installed on the roof with no major obstructions it keeps track of the satellites on its own so us cowboys and cowgirls can marvel at the technology like the rednecks we are.
Speed test from the middle of nowhere, Texas.
Latency can be slow at times, but I wouldn’t know it if I wasn’t testing the connection speed. The only problem I’ve had with it is some streaming services start off with a low-quality stream before quickly bringing things up to speed. I’m guessing that is the latency. Pings run from 24 to 45 with peaks around 84 but spikes that high are rare.
As to real-world usage… I couldn’t be happier at this point. Before Starlink, it was click on a download and go do something else. After Starlink, it’s click on a download then open it. Big files are a manner of minutes not hours.
As to the dish install… we used the roof mount for my permanent installation. Had to wait about 4 weeks to get the proper mount but it looks nice and seems much more stable than the mount it ships with.
Upload speed is around 18 to 34 Mbps. A far cry from the 1 Mbps I was limited to with my old DSL. This perk alone has been impressive as it no longer takes hours to upload videos.
I’ve only had the service for a short time so I’m still on the honeymoon. Let’s hope it lasts a long time since being a fan of Buck Owens and the Dallas Cowboys has brought more than enough grief and heartbreak.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website.