About 18 years ago my long-term girlfriend and I left suburbia and moved to the country. Not way out into the bush, but a couple of hours south of Sydney. It's a nice rural area with farms and national parks, clean air, less traffic, but still access to the vitals like supermarkets, schools and hospitals. Since then we've married, had two kids, get along with our neighbours, participate in community activities and have no intention to head back to the big smoke. This is the view from our back deck. How's the serenity? The fly in the ointment for all this is internet access. When we first moved here, dialup was our only option. Then ADSL came along, which was eventually upgraded to ADSL2+. Then finally the glorious NBN arrived with much fanfare, and after the mandatory 13 day Telstra outage we were on FTTN. This is "Fibre to the Node", where the high-speed cable stops at a box on the street, and the existing copper telephone line covers the last link into the house. We signed up for a 100Mbps plan in a fit of blinding optimism but found the line would only sync at 27Mbps down and 9Mbps up. Various enquiries with Telstra, NBNco and our ISP led nowhere. Still, from ADSL2+ this was about a 50% increase in download speeds and a substantial bump to upload speeds. It's not great, but hey, we live in the country. It'll do. A few years ago I went to Japan, and the free, unsecured wifi in the airport hotel was so fast it was genuinely quicker to just upload all the photos and videos on my phone and sort them out online, than to search through them on my phone for which ones to upload. I uploaded every photo and video on my phone, many gigabytes of data, in the time it took me to have a shower. At home it would have taken literally weeks to upload that much. I had a similar experience on a friend's fibre connection in Estonia. Meanwhile in Australia, our National Broadband Network remains a political quagmire, and we continue to languish ever further down the international broadband rankings. Frankly, it's a little embarrassing. Australia is a highly-developed nation with very high adoption rates for virtually every modern gadget, but political infighting has crippled and delayed our access to high-speed internet. Anyway, we've been on the NBN for a few years now, and since then as the bandwidth needs of the household have increased, I've looked into other options. Running fibre to the house would cost us many tens of thousands of dollars. Mobile reception is nonexistant here, so we can't just tether to a mobile. I looked into connecting to a nearby 4G/5G tower but we're on the wrong side of a hill so our antenna would have to be about 5 times as tall as the house. Meanwhile we have regular outages, sometimes restricted to just our property, but often for the entire town. These happen during storms, or when someone crashes their car into a particular pole on the outskirts of town, or when a farmer or wombat digs up a cable. But even just congestion of the link was increasingly becoming an issue. Our house would regularly ring to the cries of "is the internet down? are you downloading something massive? I need to download a big file, is that OK?" We had a 2-day period of outages because my wife was unknowingly working on large files in OneDrive, and whenever she hit save, OneDrive would try to upload several GB, killing our upload bandwidth and making the internet inaccessible for hours at a time. Then COVID arrived and the kids were doing home-schooling for months, while our link groaned under the strain. Never mind if I wanted to take an offsite backup of OCAU, or download the database to test something locally. My son is an avid MineCraft player and wanted to live-stream some of his creations, and during lockdown I was filming HD nature videos on bushwalks and wanting to upload them to YouTube. Both projects basically had to be shelved because we just didn't have enough bandwidth. But then on February 9th of this year, something caught my eye. Starlink was available for pre-order in Australia. This is a satellite internet service from SpaceX, brainchild of Elon Musk, of (among other things) Tesla fame. Could it be true? Could our salvation really have arrived in the form of an eccentric American billionaire? Could this be our opportunity to take to the sky on K-band wings and leave all you copper-based losers behind? I had my credit card out and $139 deposit paid as fast as my puny internet connection would allow. The next few months were fairly agonising. At the time of writing Starlink is still in Beta, and the website really doesn't have much in the way of info about the progress of availability in your area, your position in the queue, the ETA of your dish arriving, etc. It simply says "mid to late 2021". The months ticked by. I refreshed my order page occasionally. I browsed /r/starlink a lot. Time passed. Then on the 24th of September, an email arrived titled "Your Starlink kit is ready!" I duly paid the remaining $670. My order shipped with an estimated delivery of 11th October, but despite COVID issues it actually arrived on the 6th. The box is surprisingly large. In the photo I've put a normal-size CD on it to give an idea of scale. Inside there is a large simple instruction sheet, the dish itself, a metal tripod stand, a Power-Over-Ethernet injector (the black box), a wifi router (the white/silver box), a cable to connect them and an FCC regulation sheet. The box was shipped as is, with no further packaging around it, but thanks to the chunky plastic formwork inside everything arrived intact after the trip from the USA. The entire system is powered by the POE injector which has a single Australian plug on it. The dish is also larger than I expected, at nearly 60cm across, and pretty heavy to carry around. Initial setup is extremely simple. Everything is already cabled together, so for the first test (at night, after work), I simply put the tripod on the lawn, put the dish into the tripod facing roughly South, and plugged in the POE injector's power cord. I had read somewhere that generally in the Southern Hemisphere the dish will face South, and in the Northern Hemisphere, North. The dish is motorised, so it does have the ability to align itself appropriately, but I'm not sure if it can rotate 180 degrees around the stand. Anyway, I powered it on, and within a few seconds it pointed straight up. Then it rotated slightly around the axis of the stand, and lowered itself to point off into the sky perhaps 30 degrees off vertical and towards what appeared to be due South. I used the Starlink app on my phone to configure the wifi router, connected to it, and naturally enough fired off a speed-test. The entire setup process had taken less than 15 minutes. The first speed-test was "only" about 90Mbps down, but I figured the vagaries of phone wifi might be an issue there, so I hooked up my laptop's Ethernet port to the AUX plug on the Starlink Wifi AP. This time the speed test hit nearly 250Mbps down and 30Mbps up. Not far off 10 times improvement in download speeds and over 3 times improvement in upload. From a satellite dish sitting on my lawn, that I'd set up in 15 minutes. Holy cow. I had a strange sensation of being unplugged from the shackles of copper. All the hassles of random disconnections, of dealing with Telstra and NBNco, all the political infighting stopping the NBN from achieving its potential - all that noise and drama had instantly faded into the background, replaced by a magical beam of connectivity directly between my house and the sky. I ran another speed test on the home network, still on the NBN, to confirm the improvement. This weekend I set up "dishy", as they were apparently named internally at SpaceX during development, and continue to be affectionately known on Reddit, in a more permanent mounting position on the roof of our deck, where it has a clear view of the sky. You can get various roof mounts and pole mounts but the included tripod is suitable for our use. The tripod is pretty substantial, made of metal, and has a hole at the ends of the each arm for a decking screw. I screwed two legs into a crossbeam on the deck and attached another piece of wood between the rafters for the third leg. It seems solid enough to survive the sometimes pretty extreme winds we get here. The cabling is waterproof and the entire system is apparently lightning-proof, and it will even heat itself up if it happens to get covered in snow. The 100-foot (33M) cable hard-wired to dishy was run around the side of the house, cable-clipped for tidiness using nail-in clips where wood was available and adhesive ones on metal flashing elsewhere, to an unused door to my office which has been sealed up. If the adhesive ones don't last I'll look into something more permanent like mortar plugs etc. The office is a converted double garage and we don't use one of the old doors to the outside world. So I simply drilled a hole through that solid wooden door using a Forstner bit (but a holesaw or spade bit would also work), mounted a junction box on either side of the hole, ran the cable through and fitted the junction box covers for neatness and weatherproofing.