Starlink is Changing Lives in Rural Newfoundland


In the Whitbourne area in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, Mike Mullins, who built a high-tech smart home for his retirement, encountered a significant challenge: inadequate internet service.

“We’ve lived in town for 30 years, and when we moved to Whitbourne, my gosh, we were surprised to learn that the highest speed is, I think it’s like a DSL,” Mullins shared, highlighting the stark contrast in internet speeds compared to urban areas, reports Saltwire.

Faced with limited options from local wired internet companies like Bell, Mullins turned to SpaceX’s Starlink, Elon Musk’s company that offers low-Earth orbit satellite connectivity.

Initially hesitant due to the cost and self-installation process, Mullins said, “I was really concerned about the initial cost and, of course, the distance, because you had to get it from California, and at the time, they were asking for $1,000 for the dish and you had to install it yourself.”

Despite these concerns, Mullins proceeded with Starlink, finding the setup process surprisingly seamless. “We pulled the trigger; it took a week and all we had to do was get a GPS reading of where our house was being built,” he explained. The ease of installation and immediate access to high-speed internet transformed his experience, even during the construction phase of his home.

Mullins now enjoys uninterrupted service, crucial for the functionality of his smart home. “We haven’t had one drop out or down service at all,” he says. “We needed something that was dependable, and I don’t think you could get a more dependable service than Starlink.”

Similarly, James Jones, a resident on the south coast of Labrador and a business owner, has found Starlink to be a game-changer.

Operating a tour boat, Jones relied heavily on telephone services before Starlink. “We use Starlink here in Labrador, we used to have Bell, but it was very slow. We have been with Starlink for about two years now, best move ever made, no issues,” Jones stated, emphasizing the significant improvement in connectivity.

Both Mullins and Jones have observed an increasing number of Starlink users in their communities, indicating a growing preference for the satellite service over traditional providers. Mullins believes that local internet providers will need to upgrade their services soon but remains skeptical, saying, “I find it incredible that in ‘69 they put a man on the moon, but yet you can’t have high-speed service, right?”

Starlink brings high-speed internet to the entire globe and is more efficient than companies digging and laying down fibre optic cable. It’s no surprise Canadians are feeling liberated to break free of the telecom monopoly held by Rogers, Telus and Bell.