More than 10,000 people are now using Starlink's Internet service

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,080   +131
Staff member
The big picture: Starlink, the satellite-based broadband Internet service from SpaceX, now has over 10,000 users as part of its ongoing public beta program. The program is still in the very early stages but according to some users, it's off to a great start with solidly built hardware and better-than-expected speeds.

SpaceX revealed as much in a recent petition to the Federal Communications Commission in which Starlink Services is seeking designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier.

The “Better Than Nothing Beta” launched last October to select residents in parts of the US, Canada and the UK. Starlink in its FAQ notes that users can expect to see data speeds vary from 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s with latency between 20ms and 40ms.

According to some early speed tests, some users were getting results that exceeded expectations - over 200Mb/s in some cases.

As more satellites are launched into space and the networking software is improved, customers can expect even better speeds.

Starlink Internet service retails for $99 per month, plus a one-time fee of $499 for the installation kit.

The FCC in late 2018 granted SpaceX permission to deploy and operate a very-low-Earth orbit constellation consisting of thousands of small Internet-beaming satellites. The company started sending them into space in mid-2019 and plans to continue to do so over the next few years.

Starlink is hoping the commission will grant the petition by June 7, 2021 “in order for Starlink Services to meet the commission’s deadline for ETC designation for the purposes of receiving RDOF support.”

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Uncle Al

Posts: 8,001   +6,775
Paying $500 for an install kit is like paying a doctor $350 for a first time visit ..... the cost of doing business should be contained to the business but if you've got people crazy enough to pay it, so be it. Considering how important internet is to some, I would worry that sooner or later some power out there is going to engage a satellite that will hunt & kill these things. While that might seem a bit far fetched, it certainly can happen and since there are very few that have signed on to keeping warfare out of space, the probability is higher ......
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 218   +322
Starlink is pretty good for users who don't have access to hardwired internet providers. Most Sat or Cellular services are slow with really low data caps.

Starlink gives people in these areas the ability to stream HD video with not having to worry about a data cap. The upfront cost is not an issue. The Monthly price is higher than I'd like but would no doubt lower at some point, but even at $100/m you get getting much better internet that other sat providers that would charge the same rate for a 15-30GB data cap with slow DL rates and massive ping. Starlink in 3-5 years will no doubt be a real player in the ISP world.
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,606   +3,526
Paying $500 for an install kit is like paying a doctor $350 for a first time visit ..... the cost of doing business should be contained to the business but if you've got people crazy enough to pay it, so be it. Considering how important internet is to some, I would worry that sooner or later some power out there is going to engage a satellite that will hunt & kill these things. While that might seem a bit far fetched, it certainly can happen and since there are very few that have signed on to keeping warfare out of space, the probability is higher ......
that's almost like saying people shouldn't have to pay for a smartphone. But this is bringing internet to people who it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to run cable or fiber to. $500 is a deal when you consider that.
 

winjer

Posts: 140   +491
Paying $500 for an install kit is like paying a doctor $350 for a first time visit ..... the cost of doing business should be contained to the business but if you've got people crazy enough to pay it, so be it. Considering how important internet is to some, I would worry that sooner or later some power out there is going to engage a satellite that will hunt & kill these things. While that might seem a bit far fetched, it certainly can happen and since there are very few that have signed on to keeping warfare out of space, the probability is higher ......

This is a new technology and as such, there is a premium for early adopters.
Of course, this is not a alternative for people who have a good land connection.
But for some people in remote places, it might be pretty good, considering the alternatives might not even exist.
 

lipe123

Posts: 972   +560
Paying $500 for an install kit is like paying a doctor $350 for a first time visit ..... the cost of doing business should be contained to the business but if you've got people crazy enough to pay it, so be it. Considering how important internet is to some, I would worry that sooner or later some power out there is going to engage a satellite that will hunt & kill these things. While that might seem a bit far fetched, it certainly can happen and since there are very few that have signed on to keeping warfare out of space, the probability is higher ......

I worked for a rural ISP and its the same for all of them. You pay a huge upfront cost for the expensive wireless equipment, tripod, cable runs, weather proofing etc. etc. that the installers have to do. Then you still pay way more for slower service than in the city.

Cable modems cost pennies compared to wireless long range high speed equipment.
 

Trapped Nowhere

Posts: 62   +57
Starlink is pretty good for users who don't have access to hardwired internet providers. Most Sat or Cellular services are slow with really low data caps.

Starlink gives people in these areas the ability to stream HD video with not having to worry about a data cap. The upfront cost is not an issue. The Monthly price is higher than I'd like but would no doubt lower at some point, but even at $100/m you get getting much better internet that other sat providers that would charge the same rate for a 15-30GB data cap with slow DL rates and massive ping. Starlink in 3-5 years will no doubt be a real player in the ISP world.
Hopefully they can succeed where google failed. they were supposed to be the real player in a few years as well.
 
I live in a rural area and had to live with just getting 3mbs until about 2 weeks ago. I was able to get wifi from a company that is called Netafy that provides me with 25mbs for $68 a month. I feel like I'm in internet heaven by comparison. Installation was free, though I had to buy a aircube router for $100. Downloading a game could take me up to a week and now a few hours.
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,839   +2,151
Staff member
I live in a rural area and had to live with just getting 3mbs until about 2 weeks ago. I was able to get wifi from a company that is called Netafy that provides me with 25mbs for $68 a month. I feel like I'm in internet heaven by comparison. Installation was free, though I had to buy a aircube router for $100. Downloading a game could take me up to a week and now a few hours.
Similar experience to myself. Last year I was living in deepest rural England, and the 'best' wired broadband available was an utterly pitiful 2 Mbps. Instead I used a 4G LTE system that gave me a minimum of 75 Mbps and, depending on the day and weather, would often hit 105 Mbps - all for £34 per month and a £100 router. These days I'm back in urban hell and a 25 Mbps broadband that's shared with 3 other people. Meh...
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,839   +2,151
Staff member
4G LTE is essentially a mobile phone network signal, different to WiFi.
 

netman

Posts: 624   +247
I used to have a cellular LTE modem with AT&T service with unlimited data (in practice) and speed of 50 to 60 Mbps at $30 per month...!