Starlink is Better Than Nothing for rural broadband – The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

Posted: December 30, 2020 at 4:54 pm

Starlink is Better Than Nothing

for rural broadband

Revere him or revile him, no one can dispute that Elon Musk is a genius in our time.

Musk is the founder, chief executive officer and chief technical officer of Tesla, SpaceX and a handful of other dazzling companies, including The Boring Company (which is actually not boring at all).

The most interesting thing about Musk is what drives him. He is fabulously wealthy the second wealthiest man on earth behind Jeff Bezos but money is merely a means to an end for him.

That end is human travel to Mars, followed by colonization of Mars. This actually explains everything, as we will explain.

Musk had this Mars dream as a young man, but he also realized that human travel to Mars would not be on NASAs agenda during his lifetime, so he set about doing it himself. He needed money, so he started and sold a company called Zip2 for $307 million in 1999. He then played a major role in the start of PayPal, which was sold to eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002.

When he started the electric car company Tesla, he was laughed at by the big car manufacturers. In the early years, Tesla was hemorrhaging money and had seemingly unsurmountable problems with its batteries.

Fast forward to today and Tesla is worth more than the next 12 biggest car companies in the world combined.

He famously traveled to Russia with some American aerospace engineers to inspect some retired ICBMs that he hoped to convert into Mars transports. He was regarded as a novice by one of the Russian space engineers and subsequently spat on.

That ignoble experience sent him back to his office with a mind to prove someone wrong. He decided to build his own rockets and started SpaceX.

The Boring Companys technology literally bores into the earth to construct tunnels for high speed underground travel. The company has won large contracts in California to construct such things.

SpaceX rockets have now displaced Russian rockets as the primary vehicle to the International Space Station. It has also launched into low Earth orbit a constellation of about 1,000 satellites in furtherance of the Starlink project.

With Starlink, Musk has set out to provide high speed internet connectivity to every patch of dirt (and ocean) on Earth. In the end, he may make fiber and physical internet infrastructure irrelevant. He would then literally own the internet worldwide.

So what about Mars? This is where things get interesting. Internal combustion engines wont work on Mars, thus Tesla. Gotta have major capabilities and major capital to build a vehicle that will get safely carry people to Mars, thus SpaceX. Mars is believed to have useful natural resources under its surface, thus The Boring Company.

These connections explain virtually everything Musk has done all in service to his Mars dreams including, for companies like SpaceX and Tesla, enormous profitability.

SpaceX recently won a big chunk of a $9.2 billion federal broadband reverse auction, including $39.7 million from Colorados allotment to serve more than 19,000 households in western Colorado with satellite broadband. Musk titled the program Better Than Nothing.

Hes right, and nothing is what has held rural Colorado back for years. Reliable high speed internet is as essential to a communitys health today as electricity or roads were 80 years ago. With estimates that 70% of the countrys workforce will not return to the physical workplace and the proliferation of location-neutral workers, places like Nucla and Craig could be very attractive places to live so long as they have broadband.

Legacy broadband providers, who must pull fiber to every last mile of every rural house they hope to serve, were understandably dismayed at Starlinks auction wins. SpaceX is an existential threat to those companies.

And if we have learned anything about Elon Musk, its that you dont bet against a genius chasing his dream.

Visit link:
Starlink is Better Than Nothing for rural broadband - The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

Related Post