A Community Website by Lopez Island
Started by Dean Hoshizaki
Oct 12, 2020
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Starlink, WA State and us: Very exciting
Oct 12, 2020
Hi All,

This is very interesting. The HOH over on the peninsula got the BETA of Starlink, the new micro satellite internet by Elon Musk et al.

Also the WA State Dept of Commerce is doing a survey of slow internet for people to determine where to go next. I did not realize there is an initiative to get everyone in WA hooked up by 2024.

Check it out!

The story:

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2020/10/remote-tribe-says-spacex-starlink-catapulted-them-into-21st-century/

The Video of the HOH and Dept of commerce effort.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbLY8xLXP0E&feature=youtu.be

Do the survey and get a vote in to have the SJ islands next.

https://www.commerce.wa.gov/building-infrastructure/washington-statewide-broadband-act/speedtestsurvey/
Comment by Mike Colyar
Mar 6, 2021
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As promised (or threatened depending on your take) here is a first report on my fiber hookup.

A whole squadron of trucks and people showed up on time. They were here for a little over two. No problems with the installation I should have asked for a longer 'patch cable', the one that goes from the wall to the modem. That's being remedi ... Read All
Comment by Dean Hoshizaki
Feb 23, 2021
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Hi All,


Added an article about how white collar work is changing. Some kids will work for companies like Farmers Edge, or UI Path to be part of the next generation companies.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/06/business/the-robots-are-coming-for-phil-in-accounting.html?action=click&module=Editors%20Picks&pgtype=Homepage

----- ... Read All
Comment by Dean Hoshizaki
Feb 23, 2021
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"SpaceX was tentatively awarded $885.51 million in Federal Communications Commission funding over 10 years to bring Starlink to 642,925 homes and businesses in 35 states."

So there is some funding here, maybe
Comment by Mike Colyar
Feb 21, 2021
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Feb 21, 2021
For what it's worth, fiber installation costs are much lower if you live along the road with the cable and are close enough that they can run an overhead cable. And there is a $1500 credit against the cost of new hookups.

In my case, the cable is on the other side of the road but their pole and my building are high enough that I can have an overhead run with no digging thus I am supposed to get by with a "nominal" installation fee, whatever that means. Hope springs eternal!

The slowest contract speed is 40 mB up and down for $80/mo. A significant expense for me. They are coming out next week. Wish me luck. I'll report in.
Comment by Dean Hoshizaki
Feb 21, 2021
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Did a little more research on this, so I thought I would post some information summary.

On the Light Pollution: Now they are installing "shades" on the satellites to reduce sun reflection and visibility.

On Space Junk: The orbit is considered "low-Orbit". This means about 300 miles up. This is MUCH MUCH lower than oth ... Read All
Comment by Chelsea Avery
Feb 15, 2021
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Often times the dependency on technology is created by the economy/capitalism, and not the individual. The internet is not just browsing & scrolling, it's also job searching, endless youtube how-to's, school/classes. It's information. While I agree that the government/big tech should be a part of making the internet more affordable and accessi ... Read All
Comment by Nathan Donnelly
Feb 15, 2021
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Not something I keep up on. I'm on fiber and my phone hotspot works perfectly too.
I don't think counties are the scale that typically deals with this sort of thing. Pressuring that state and federal funds be spent as required is probably the actual solution. And making some regulations on how much bandwidth can be wasted on ads.
I also don ... Read All
Comment by John Waugh
Feb 13, 2021
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Great link, Nathan. And I agree, Julienne. Fiber is the way to go, but it needs $$ to install. I'm not sure Opalco has the financial chops to do what should be done. There must be some grant money available somewhere, give that the consensus is that rural fiber should be provided by government. But as the linked article notes,

"The good ne ... Read All
Comment by Julienne Battalia
Feb 13, 2021
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2
Sure would like to see our County provide a means of supporting OPALCO/ROCKISLAND in providing fiber optic cable to every home. This is the most reliable and viable solution for far into the future.
Comment by Nathan Donnelly
Feb 12, 2021
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For a good article on the broader context and efficacy of Starlink, fiber, and other local services, even in rural Washington, read this:
https://nwcitizen.com/entry/starlink-is-no-star
Comment by John Waugh
Feb 11, 2021
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I doubt that Starlink will work in heavily wooded areas, since it relies on turning the antenna to follow satellites before transferring to the next one, sort of like cell towers along the freeway. I'd think it needs a pretty big clear shot at the sky.
Comment by Mike Colyar
Feb 11, 2021
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Well, they would say that, wouldn't they? But then there is Project Kuiper which was going to be in higher orbits that would not decay in any reasonable time frame but now they want to lower them down to where Starlink wants to be but that would cause radio interference and meanwhile even with one tenth or less of the Starlink sats up and shining away, ... Read All
Comment by Colin Brumfield
Feb 11, 2021
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The Starlink satellites have a lifespan of about five years. After that they intentionally burn up in the Earth's atmosphere.
Comment by Mike Colyar
Feb 11, 2021
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This is a short sighted solution to a long term issue. After fiber spreads to almost everyone, this space junk will be up there messing up astronomy and almost certainly making a large part of the near earth orbital terrain dangerous and unusable.

A few years ago China decided to test their ability to destroy satellites and the results are still wit ... Read All
Comment by Justin Hagge
Feb 11, 2021
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3
As someone in the woods, still relying on DSL which is about the same speeds as I had in the year 2000, and zero hopes of fiber ever making its way down my very long road, I'm going to be buying in on this. Pre-order available!
Comment by Nathan Donnelly
Feb 10, 2021
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Ryan is 100% right on this. Has anyone actually experienced an improved internet because of higher speeds in over a decade? Ever notice how all the advertisements load well before the content you wanted to see when it is slow?
I can already get ethernet and a 4g wifi hotspot off my phone that work perfectly fine. Traveling through the 3rd world (Ecuador) ... Read All
Comment by Dean Hoshizaki
Feb 9, 2021
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2
https://www.starlink.com/

This is now available on Lopez. They claim initially there is limited availability.

It is 500.00 for the equipment, and then 99 a month.

It should be fast. If anyone gets it, please let others know how it goes.
Comment by Michael Hawk
Oct 18, 2020
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Satelite internet sounds great.
Does that require more and higher power radio transmitters than whats presently used ?
Comment by John Waugh
Oct 14, 2020
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Starlink sounds pretty good to me, depending on the ultimate monthly cost, and what that delivers. Not sure how well we'd do in the trees, though. We can get Dish Network TV, shooting through a hole between trees. But Starlink satellites will not be geostationary, so not sure how that would work with our limited sky view.

I'm also concerne ... Read All
Comment by Steve Snowden
Oct 13, 2020
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Yep, Heike, we certainly get the benefits provided by unfettered capitalism (/s). We lived in and near Munich in the late '80s and early 90s. The affordable and reliable public transit that would get you nearly everywhere, extensive bike paths, affordable health care, and a belief that weekends were for pleasure not work were great.
Comment by Heike And Terry
Oct 13, 2020
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4
Thanks Steve, for the cost info. It’s astonishing how much American consumers have to pay for an essential utility service. My Mom in Germany pays $53/month for internet, landline, and unlimited cell phone, including all services and taxes. And no, it’s not subsidized.

Heike
Comment by Ryan Woofenden
Oct 13, 2020
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2
This is a really silly solution. If the internet speeds go up, so too will the bandwidth use of the information being shared over the internet. It's a never ending cycle of growth, and so this "solution" will only make the problem worse in the long term. If the problem is slow internet speeds, the solution would be pressuring big tech to do a ... Read All
Comment by Steve Snowden
Oct 12, 2020
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3
Well, don't be too hasty. The expected cost of Starlink internet is $80 a month which is just a bit more more than LTE wireless, and the speeds are roughly the same. A somewhat obscure concern is the number of satellites and debris in low Earth orbit. At some point, perhaps in the not too far distant future, there may be too many of them leading to a ... Read All
Comment by Tim Nurczyk
Oct 12, 2020
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Yeah Bruce, it probably will make the fiber obsolete. People in the telecommunications industry should have known this was coming, I'm just a country bumpkin carpenter and I did. It doesn't make much sense to spend millions digging a bunch of fiber lines in rocky island soil where you often run into bedrock, where housing is very spread out, and ... Read All
Comment by Dean Hoshizaki
Oct 12, 2020
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3
OPALCO was a good idea, but things have been slow to materialize. Has it been 4- or 5 years (or more) since it was talked about? Same thing with the fixed wireless and fiber solutions from Rock Island.

So right now we have:

Century Link DSL
Rock Island DSL, Fiber or Wireless.
Cellular wireless (Verizon ATT etc.)
Dish Satellite< ... Read All
Comment by Bruce Richardson
Oct 12, 2020
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2
Will this put OPALCO out of the internet business and leave us holding the bag?