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Quebec Picks SpaceX Starlink Internet for Over 10,000 Rural Homes

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Quebec announced on Monday it will invest $50 million CAD to leverage SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet for hard-to-reach rural homes.

The province called the solution “the most advanced”, saying it was the “only solution” to deploy high speed internet to rural homes, reports CTV News (via Tesla North).

Gilles Belanger, the parliamentary assistant to the premier of Quebec, said at a press conference today, “often, people will confuse the old high-orbit satellite with the new low-orbit satellite. There will be no problem in terms of quality of internet service.”

SpaceX Starlink is a low Earth orbit satellite constellation offering high speed internet for rural areas. Currently, there are over 2,000 Starlink satellites hovering 550 km above Earth, allowing for faster connections with lower latency. Traditional satellite internet hovers about 37,000 km above Earth, resulting in slower transmission.

Quebec says it will expand high speed internet to over a quarter million rural homes, with SpaceX Starlink to serve the 10,200 hard-to-reach homes.

A $9.5 million CAD subsidy will target the Starlink homes to allow for the purchase of the latter’s hardware, which currently costs $759 CAD (satellite dish and wireless router). Users just need to plug in the satellite dish and aim it at a clear view of the sky, then follow setup instructions using the Starlink app.

Starlink service costs currently costs $140 CAD per month, with download speeds ranging around 150 Mbps or higher.

The Starlink announcement was delayed says Quebec, to allow for SpaceX to assist with deploying its Starlink tech for Ukraine, where currently 150,000 people are using the satellite internet tech daily.

Quebec says it has committed $1.1 billion to build out high speed internet for rural areas, with the investment seeing $470 million from the federal government and the province’s share at $610 million to date.

Earlier this month, SpaceX launched a portability feature for its Starlink customers, allowing them to use their satellite internet beyond their home address, priced at an extra $30 CAD per month.

Quebec has so far committed $1.1 billion CAD to accelerate the deployment of high speed internet to rural areas, with the federal government contributing $470 million CAD and the province at $610 million CAD.

SpaceX recently launched a Starlink portability feature, allowing customers to use their internet service outside of their home address for an extra $25 USD per month.

The federal government has yet to announce any plans to launch Starlink for hard-to-reach rural areas, but instead has committed to laying down expensive traditional fibre for high speed internet rollouts, telling iPhone in Canada it’s because the service apparently has “capacity limits in the north”.

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