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Starry wants you to stick this ugly antenna out your window

Starry wants you to stick this ugly antenna out your window

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Let me catch you up on Starry in case you've been doing literally anything other than staring in bewilderment since its announcement a couple hours ago. Starry is a new company that plans to wirelessly deliver super-fast internet to homes. It made a splashy announcement this morning that focused solely on the sleek new router you'll use to connect to Starry's Wi-Fi. But Starry forgot to mention one important thing during its event: the ugly antenna that you need to stick out a window in order to get an internet connection in the first place.

I know what you're thinking: is that antenna sticking out of a window that's still open? Based on this picture alone I would definitely say yes, but Starry tells me this is not the case and that the window is, in fact, closed. That's good news, as Starry is launching in Boston, where subscribers might mind leaving a window open year round.

So why on Earth is Starry using this bizarre setup? Starry doesn't want to deal with costly things like buying up wireless spectrum, so it's using airwaves that are freely available. It's also using airwaves that are fast. But doing so means choosing airwaves that don't travel very far and are stopped by, yes, even a window. Starry needs an antenna to bring its wireless internet connection from outside to inside of a home, and this is the solution it settled on.

There's still a lot of other things we don't know about Starry — the cost of its internet service, whether this is actually scalable, whether it can truly delivery its promised gigabit internet speeds, whether it even works at all — but a lot of eyes are going to be on its service. Starry comes from the person behind Aereo, the innovative but super-dead TV streaming service, and this is his next attempt at disrupting a market by taking a novel approach to existing technology. Starry wants to be a better option than your existing wired internet provider, but it has a ways to go before convincing anyone that it can do that. It's planning to launch this March.