Publisher’s Letter: Starlink Changes the Whole Dynamic!

Photo by Blaine Howerton; Starlink satellite internet has a very attractive and fully automatic dish
By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

It’s that time of year when most of us wish the snow would just end and the warm weather would begin again. In earnest, I have had enough!

My Starlink “Dishy” BETA satellite internet set-up arrived several weeks ago. Then the blizzard happened so the carton sat in my living room waiting for the opportunity to install it. Five-foot snow drifts prevented me from getting anywhere near my mountain property. My ATV couldn’t get through and my snowmobile wouldn’t even start.

Weeks after delivery, with chains on my truck tires, I finally got within 1/2 a mile of my property. But I still couldn’t get all the way up the steep grade that leads to my writing studio.

So I braced myself and went “old school.” I picked up the carton and carried it a 1/4 mile up the mountain, fired up the generator, did a fast, easy installation, and bam! For the first time, on the mountain in a rural setting, I had high-speed internet. It was like turning on my first light bulb. I was so excited that I sent texts to friends and pushed the bandwidth — just to test what it could do. Live streaming, photos, videos, were all suddenly in the equation. And faster than my internet in town.

Yeah, it’s still running on a generator… but someday soon, Dishy will power North Forty News from 6,500 feet in Bellvue with solar power! I was super-impressed at how easy it was to set it up to connect my rural property to the world — it took only a few minutes (not counting the hike up the mountain and the countless hours of preparing the site for a generator.)

This is not your typical satellite internet. Fast, reliable, and very easy to set up, I was particularly impressed with their work with astronomers to protect the night sky. They have been working to make their satellites generally invisible to the naked eye.

Disclaimer: Starlink does not sponsor North Forty News (how I wish it did.) But I have already recommended it to friends. And rest assured, when Starlink becomes an IPO, I plan to participate.

I can’t wait for the months ahead when the snow melts, the road is passable, and I get to focus on getting my mountain property ready for my plans this summer — I’m going to build a house that will soon become my new home. And I couldn’t be more excited. In the past year, the challenges I will face living in the mountains have become evident. But I’m undaunted! And as many of you know so well, the trade-off of living surrounded by the beauty of nature is certainly worth it.



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