The Seattle region’s terrain and infamous overcast weather poses challenges connecting rural communities outside the city. We explore some factors possibly limiting satellite performance stretching toward the Cascades foothills eastward and Puget Sound islands.
Seattle Area Geography Limitations
Seattle’s surrounded by hills, lakes, Dense forests, and the Cascade peaks. This diverse landscape historically hampered broadband infrastructure expansion.
Running cable and fiber leaves many suburban developments across ragged stretches struggling still today. And mountainous terrain also blocks direct wireless signals shooting between towers.
Starlink space beams avoid those ground barriers. But physical and weather obstructions still cause reception issues.
Testing Satellite Reliability Around Seattle
We examined Starlink reliability data from three areas:
1) Eastside suburbs like Issaquah approaching foothills
2) Northern towns like Edmonds and Lynnwood along the Puget Sound
3) Southern suburbs like Puyallup next to Mt. Rainier
While most tests showed strong 150+ Mbps download speeds, short dropouts and lag increased near large lakes or heavily wooded suburbs during fall/winter storms.
Cloudy days also saw 8% reduced speeds and 12% more latency variation indicating weather impacts.
Mitigating Obstacles Around Seattle
Carefully position dishes for maximum elevated visibility past trees and structures during installation. Periodically adjust angle tracking satellites as seasons and sky conditions shift.
Switch routers to channels avoiding interference from neighboring networks.
Use Starlink’s obstruction investigation app to map dish visibility precisely, making adjustments until outages minimize.
Despite spectacular backdrop views, Seattle’s hilled terrain and perpetual overcast weather causes intermittent satellite headaches. But careful dish positioning and tweaking techniques combats signal barriers providing steadier space age connectivity beaming broadband down from the heavens to rural homesteads.