While testing Elon Musk's Starlink Satellite internet service, Professor Alan Woodward from the University of Surrey in England noticed outages and thinks pesky pigeons have been roosting on the dish installed on his roof.
The said dish, as described by NPR, looks like an empty birdbath. This tech service of Musk is trying to offer satellite internet services all over the world.
However, some people have noticed some issues. Professor Woodward has been beta-testing the said technology. In a BBC report, he described his observation of the pigeons.
The Starlink Satellite Internet Coverage
In a separate Express News report, it was specified that fans of the satellite-based broadband service of Musk are "in for a nasty surprise" as the said pesky pigeons are suspected of being the reason for the Internet outages of Prof. Woodward and some other customers.
Prof. Woodward, a cybersecurity expert, reported the said observation and outage problem this week. Starlink, which is on the edge of offering Internet coverage globally, connects to the web through ground-based satellite dishes linking up to a network of satellites in LEO or low-Earth orbit.
Furthermore, it's the dishes mounted on rooftops or balconies that might prove problematic for customers in the future, all because of the pigeons seemingly in search of a quick bath.
Different from the satellite dishes that can be linked to services such as Sky or Freesat TV, which are huge and mounted vertically, the satellites of Mus are relatively small and point upwards.
'Pesky Pigeons' Likely to Blame
This report specified that the satellite dishes are exchanging signals with the LEO constellation of Starlink, which zips around this planet above 550 kilometers.
To a pigeon's eye, these hallow dishes that look like a fruit bowl may appear to be birdbaths, and that could result in connectivity problems.
Woodward, who recently installed a Starlink satellite on his roof, has complained about several outages that affect the Internet service.
And even though he is yet to find out the reason exactly his connectivity keeps being disrupted, he thinks "pesky pigeons" are likely to blame.
In the said BBC report, he also explained that it has actually been quite favorable, although he noticed multiple outages, some a second, and the others even longer.
Heavy Rain, Wind, and Snow Affecting Speeds
According to SpaceX, heavy rain, wind and snow can all affect the Internet speeds of Starlink. The firm recommends having the satellite dishes installed in an area that avoids the buildup of snow and other barriers "from blocking the field of view."
Numerous discussions online are filled with horror stories about pigeons that disrupt TV signals and, in general, proving to be a winged threat.
Nevertheless, despite the pigeon-related mishap, Starlink is being promoted as the best choice for people who need a fast and dependable Internet connection in locations where fiber-optic broadband is not a choice.
These include locations in the countryside and those in the most remote areas of the world where the required infrastructure is not present.
Other Companies Investing in Internet Services
Musk is not the only one investing in Internet service. Other companies have joined the bandwagon too. OneWeb, a British-Indian firm, is also developing its own constellation of OneWeb satellites after receiving backing from the United Kingdom Government.
Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has announced plans, as well, to construct a mega-constellation of satellites they'd call Kuiper.
Earlier this year, the multibillionaire said, they are determined to make cost-oriented broadband a reality for communities and customers all over the world.
Related information about the pigeons that cause the disruption is shown on Live Update's YouTube video below: