Elon Musk has confirmed that using Starlink satellites to beam internet to Canadians is a “major priority.”
Last week on June 18th, news broke that SpaceX applied for a Canadian telecom licence as a step towards providing satellite internet in rural America and eventually all of Canada.
Now, in response to an article in the Toronto Star regarding Canadian support for the ambitious project, Musk has tweeted, “Canada is a major priority for Starlink!”
Further down the Twitter thread, someone asked if Toronto will be included in the initial availability, and Musk said, “Yes, although Starlink works best for low population density situations.”
Canada is a major priority for Starlink!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 24, 2020
This seems to suggest that Starlink internet is going to cover a lot of Canada, but it may be competing with other satellite internet providers like Xplornet and Northwestel to provide faster internet to rural Canadians.
If the price is low enough or the data caps are high enough, this could be big news for people in remote areas that don’t have the same access to internet as those in metropolitan areas.
However, none of this will matter unless the CRTC approves the company’s Basic International Telecommunications Services (BITS) licence. If you want to find out more about SpaceX’s application to the CRTC, you can read our prior reporting.
In terms of what we know about Starlink, there isn’t much yet, but it’s aiming to provide gigabit internet speeds (1,000Mbps) via low-earth-orbit satellites, according to the Toronto Star’s reporting. These satellites should also feature reduced latency compared to traditional satellite internet.
The Star also reports that we could see this service in action as early as the end of 2020, but if Musk’s track record with Tesla is an indication, there could be some delays.
Source: Elon Musk (@ElonMusk), Toronto Star