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American Households Estimated to Save Over $30 Billion a Year on Broadband With LEO Satellites

Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites are still in their infancy, but according to one analysis, the technology could save American households more than $30 billion per year by intensifying broadband competition. "LEO technology will offer robust internet access to underserved and rural communities lacking wired, low-latency broadband options," says the BroadbandNow Research team. "The arrival of this emergent technology is likely to drive down monthly internet prices for hundreds of millions of Americans."

Internet to millions: "LEO satellites, such as the constellations planned by Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink project and Jeff Bezos’ Project Kuiper, promise to bring low-latency broadband internet to millions of Americans," says BroadbandNow. (See these: Amazon's Orbiting Infrastructure and SpaceX Satellite Internet Project Status Update as well as status reports on other competitors OneWeb and Telesat.)

Low latency: "LEO satellite orbit extremely close to earth, between 99 to 1200 miles versus 22,000 miles of traditional GEO satellites, which means less time to transfer information (lower latency) and a quality of service comparable to wired broadband cable and fiber providers."

Assuming success achieved by Elon Musk’s Starlink alone, 263 million Americans with three or fewer wired broadband providers in their area could collectively save over $14 billion through reduced monthly prices, according to the analysis. "The remainder of Americans with four or more providers could save an additional $4 Billion, pushing the savings to $18 billion. ... If both Starlink and Project Kuiper launch, the savings are likely to be even more dramatic..."

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