Billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite broadband revolution has been tested in the back garden of a Cork home since the start of the year it emerged.
At it @ cork’s Tech Fest event, the Managing Director of Ireland’s National Space Center (NSC), Rory FitzPatrick, confirmed to attendees that Mr. Musk SpaceX’s Starlink gear is in place, after months of speculation and rumors about plans to society in the country.
During histalk to cork, Mr FitzPatrick, who lives in Carrigaline, said: “The first Starlink test system in Ireland is in my garden. He’s been there since January.
“We took delivery of the ground stations on campus in December, connected them through the Enet backbone in January, and launched the beta test antenna at home as soon as it arrived.”
The Irish space headquarters in Elfordstown, near Midleton, in east Cork, had previously kept low on speculation it was becoming another location for Mr Musk’s Starlink ground equipment, due to a deal. of non-disclosure.
However, what looks like giant golf balls have been seen at the Midleton facility, a telltale sign to Starlink watchers around the world.
The Starlink project has become a fascination among tech enthusiasts, with Musk’s vision to dominate the fast broadband landscape in hard-to-reach areas.
Starlink says its satellites are more than 60 times closer to Earth than traditional satellites, resulting in lower latency and the ability to support services typically not possible with traditional satellite internet.
Latency is the time it takes to send data from one point to another. Starlink says having its network of nearby satellites scattered around the atmosphere means better quality for video calls and online games.
As more and more satellites are launched, more and more ground stations are installed and networking software is improved, meaning that speed, latency and data availability will improve dramatically. for users, Starlink said.
Kerry’s remote valley, Black Valley, has also been the subject of speculation in recent months as a location for Starlink equipment.
It has now emerged that all Starlink customers in the current beta test are served through the NSC.
This includes users in so-called “dead zone” areas like Knockawaddra, West Cork and the Black Valley.
Mr FitzPatrick showed photos and videos of the Starlink facility at the NSC while discussing the potential of national broadband in Ireland, as well as discussing the future of Starlink and other space technology efforts to transform the life.
The NSC is Europe’s most westerly teleport and Ireland’s only commercial land station.
Opened as Elfordstown Earthstation in 1984, the 24 million euro facility will celebrate 10 years of operation as NSC this year.
The company provides commercial broadcast services, ground control support for satellites and spacecraft, academic research partnerships and consulting in the space industry.
NSC’s co-located Space Campus is home to more than a dozen Irish space startups and space companies headquartered in the EU.
Beta users in the US had to purchase Starlink ground equipment for $ 499 (€ 408) plus a monthly fee of $ 99, while similar costs will exist in Ireland.
Mr. Musk’s SpaceX company has long had ambitions for satellite broadband, with years of research and development from Starlink reportedly costing more than $ 10 billion.
Launching 60 satellites per pass, it aims to have nearly 1,500 by the end of this year or early next year, space experts say.
In a show of confidence in its exploits, SpaceX filed documents with the International Telecommunications Union for 30,000 satellites at the end of 2019.