If you haven’t heard, aerospace company SpaceX has been working on a satellite-based broadband division they named StarLink. The company, piloted by tech mogul Elon Musk, began selling pre-orders for the service in February and has recently announced that they had received more than 500,000 orders for its satellite-beamed internet service.
StarLink was announced in 2015 and will offer internet access from virtually anywhere on the planet, once fully operational. To make this possible SpaceX plans to launch thousands of small satellites into low Earth orbit. They will then be able to transmit fast internet signals down to Earth received by small self aligning dishes connected to a provided wifi router over standard Cat5/6 cable.
StarLink has claimed speeds of up to 1Gbps when fully operational. At this point most beta users have been seeing speeds between 100-200 Mbps with latency in the 20-30ms range. 30ms latency is much higher than the average 1-2ms speeds with fiber, but also much better than the 600ms speeds from the older HughesNet satellite internet provider.
Costs for the service include a $499 initial equipment cost and a month to month fee of $99 which, for the speeds and convenience, is pretty good.
The service will be particularly useful in rural and remote areas that have yet to receive broadband through buried copper cables and fiber lines. With much of the outlying Wasatch back developments and overall mountain west growth not within reach of traditional broadband services, StarLink will most likely become the go-to choice for many.
To see if you qualify for the beta program you can visit www.starlink.com and enter your address.