27 Jan Starry Internet Is Aereo Founder Chet Kanojia’s Latest Salvo In The War On ISPs
With all the startups using the internet to transform traditional industries, it’s a bit of a wonder why no one has taken on the internet itself. Broadband service is an expensive business to run, with steadily increasing rates thanks to our growing need for binge-worthy video content. Pardon the cliché, but nothing has ever sounded more ripe for disruption.
Enter Starry Internet.
Conceived by Aereo founder Chet Kanojia, Starry looks to handle every aspect of broadband service using millimeter wave technology. This means that your broadband service, up to 1GB speeds, will be delivered to your home wirelessly.
“It costs the cable guys around $2,500 per home to deal with the construction costs of laying down cable,” said Kanojia on a phone call, setting the scene for his next big unveil. “And beyond cost, there are regulatory hurdles that slow down the process.”
“We can deliver faster broadband with no regulatory wait time and it will cost us only $25 per home.”
Kanojia won’t disclose pricing but says that the service will offer various tiers based on speed (up to 1GB up and down) and that it will be “orders of magnitude cheaper” than current broadband providers like Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
Starry also promises to never add data caps to the service, which could become more of an issue with the incumbents, according to Kanojia.
Here’s how it works:
The technology is called “millimeter wave band active phased array technology,” but let’s try and simplify that.
Starry drops a city node on to a rooftop (called Starry Beam) in any densely populated area that is equipped with technology to provide broadband internet wirelessly through millimeter waves. This 30GHz+ spectrum is currently unused.
Starry Beam then points the millimeter waves in different directions (active phased array), which can bounce off of buildings, etc. to deliver a connection to the Starry Point.
Starry Point sits outside your window and then delivers broadband through a wired connection to the Starry Station, the company’s reimagined WiFi router (more on that soon).
Wireless broadband has been around for a while, but usually required line of sight and could only deliver speeds equivalent with a cable modem or DSL. This was often an alternative chosen by broadband providers to service rural areas, where the cost of laying cable wasn’t worth it.
Starry’s technology, on the other hand, is meant for densely populated urban areas and requires no line of sight between the node and the transceiver, thanks to that active phased array technology.
But Starry goes beyond the technology to deliver a consumer-worthy experience with broadband. Kanojia wants to ditch complicated routers and professional installation and put the entire experience in plain English.
Starry Station, the company’s reimagined router, costs extra at $349.