isp

Starlink's current problem is capacity

This blog post is a lightly edited transcript from my most recent YouTube video, in which I explain some of Starlink's growing pains: slower speeds due to oversubscription, design challenges with their v2 hardware, and a major bet on much larger v2 sats and a rocket (Starship) that has yet to complete an orbital flight.

The video is embedded below, and the transcript follows:

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I got Starlink during the Public beta, a little over a year ago.

I set up Dishy on my roof, I set up some advanced monitoring and tested it as a backup Internet connection, but ultimately passed it along to my cousin, who's using it on her farm.

Getting a new IP address via DHCP from Spectrum Internet

Recently this website's been the target of malicious DDoS attacks.

But after accidentally leaking my home IP address in some network benchmarking clips in a recent YouTube video, the same attacker (I assume) decided to point the DDoS cannon at my home IP.

I have things relatively locked down here—more on homelab security coming soon!—but a DDoS isn't something most residential ISPs take too kindly. So it was time for me to recycle my home IP. Lucky for me, I don't pay for a static IP address. That makes home hosting more annoying sometimes, since I have to deal with tunnels and dynamic DNS, but it also means I can hop to a new IP address if one is under attack.

Getting a new IP address

At least with the DOCSIS 3.1 modem I'm using, the overall process is as follows:

Monitor your Internet with a Raspberry Pi

Internet Service Providers are almost universally despised. They've pushed for the FCC to continue defining 25 Mbps as "high use" broadband, and on top of that they overstate the quality of service they provide. A recently-released map of broadband availability in the US paints a pretty dire picture:

USA map showing areas with limited high speed broadband availability

Here in St. Louis—where I guess I should count my lucky stars we have 'high use' broadband available—I have only two options: I can get 'gigabit' cable Internet from Spectrum, or 75 megabit DSL from AT&T.

That's it.

And you're probably thinking, "Gigabit Internet is great, stop complaining!"

Setting up Starlink, SpaceX's Satellite Internet

Starlink Dishy and box from SpaceX

In March, I got an email from SpaceX saying Starlink was available at my address, and I could pre-order. I paid $500 for the equipment, plus $25 for a Volcano Roof Mount, and $99 for the first month of service, and a few weeks later, I got the kit you see in the image above.

I was a little too excited about getting Starlink, though, because I realized after I started looking for mounting locations that Starlink needed a 100° view of the northern sky, and my house is literally surrounded by 70-80 ft trees.

So I thought, why not let a cousin who lives out in a rural area try it out while I figure out what to do about mounting 'Dishy' (a common nickname for the Starlink satellite dish) on my own house?

After all, my cousin Annie, who lives in Jonesburg, MO, currently pays for the maximum available DSL plan to her farm (Haarmann Farms), and gets a measly 5 Mbps down, and 0.46 Mbps up—on a good day: