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Super High-Speed Internet Delivered Over the Air Isn't as Crazy as It Sounds

Millimeter wave technology has been a tantalizing prospect for decades.


This week, a new startup, Starry, announced it would bring gigabit-speed Internet access to consumers, without data caps, at a price that is equal to or less than your average broadband plan. It also announced that it would do this without ripping up the ground to lay expensive fiber cables or asking local governments for construction permits. It would beam the signals over the air.

It was a shocking promise. For nearly all consumers, Internet access over the air tops out with 4G LTE speeds. Of course there is Wi-Fi, but that is just a short-range extension of a wireline connection. Even experimental attempts to send Internet by drone and balloon never do better than a 4G connection. Is it really possible that this company has made the leap from that to gigabit speeds or better?

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