Satellite Broadband Meets the Data Center: SpaceX Gets Linked

Satellites Space

Most people applaud that satellites offer precise references for mapping, communications to remote locations, and pictures of our evolving planet, not to mention the required distribution of sport for television. But, while high-overhead satellites are expanding the reach to the universe, they have also played a vital role in other parts of people’s daily lives – those that are generally not linked to satellites. 

One of the most notable benefits of satellite internet for businesses is the potential to deliver a network anywhere in the world at speeds of many megabits over vast distances such as oceans and continents, which are reached conveniently and efficiently by a single satellite. The construction of terrestrial internet access is a significant time and financial investment, as fiber deployment will take several months and costs between $10,000 and $100,000 per mile of fiber. As a result, since satellite internet does not require a complex infrastructure to operate, businesses will save money on installation and land access.

On the other hand, SpaceX, OneWeb, Telesat, and Amazon are also going forward with proposals to use low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites to provide low-latency high-speed broadband around the world. This year, SpaceX and OneWeb will complete their constellations with hundreds of thousands of spacecrafts, while Telesat and Amazon expect to launch their first spacecraft in the next two to three years. SpaceX Starship concept is a planned entirely reusable, two-stage ultra heavy-lift launching vehicle developed by SpaceX. The machine consists of a booster stage, called Super Heavy, and a second stage often referred to as “Starship.”

The second stage is planned as a long-term cargo, and eventually, a passenger-carrying spacecraft. The spacecraft will act as both the second stage and the long-term orbiting starship in space.  Satellite operators are showing more interest in Equinix than in previous years, owing to the advent of newer LEO networks.

According to Poole, the average port speed sought by LEO broadband providers seeking to interconnect is usually a multiple of 10G. Elon Musk, SpaceX’s founder and CEO, has indicated a need for Starlink to integrate into data centers and interconnect points for high-speed, low-latency networks to enable online gaming and other services. The company’s Starlink low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite broadband service is winning ardent fans of over 10,000 users in its “Better than Nothing” beta. Of the four big LEO broadband networks, Starlink is the most advanced.