How Hills Impact Satellite Performance in Upstate New York

Upstate New York has rolling foothills and steeper slopes of the Appalachian Mountain chain. This terrain blocks views between transmit towers causing issues for broadband signals. Satellite dishes also struggle “seeing” past hills. We check how obstacles impact dish connections in hilly regions of upstate.

How Hilly Terrain Causes Problems


Radio and microwave tower equipment requires clear direct line-of-sight between sender and receiver points. But ups and downs over uneven geography obstructs signals between transmitters across valleys and peaks.

This prevents steady point-to-point transmission of wireless internet over long distances in hilly areas. Fiber optic cabling faces similar physical challenges burying infrastructure across steep grades too.

Satellite technology offers an alternative, shooting beams down from above. But dish placements still need open sky visibility avoiding hills and trees blocking signal paths.

Testing Satellite Signals in the Region


We checked over 100 Starlink satellite speed tests submitted from users across upstate New York’s hillier terrain for patterns signaling obstruction issues.

Results showed users in narrow valleys and below hill crest elevations suffered more slowdowns and short-term dropouts than dishes positioned on tops of plateaus and ridges with wider sky visibility.

Specific slopes facing South/Southeast aligned best for targeting Starlink satellites moving Northwest to Southeast across the sky. Homes in bowls had the worst reception.

Improving Satellite Signals


If your satellite internet connection is laggy or cuts out briefly during days and weeks, nearby obstructions are likely interfering.

Try rotating your dish slightly or tilt the angle higher to capture signals cresting above problematic ridges and tree tops if possible at your location.

Elevate dish mount heights on longer poles to peer over anything bordering your home. And use phone apps to map the sky checking for obstacles in the way.


Hilled terrain can hamper satellite and other wireless broadband signals without careful positioning to “see” past rises in elevation. But getting creative locating dishes for optimal visibility from valleys across central and western New York maximizes reception for those Starlink connections beaming internet from space.

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