SpaceX Starlink is now available to the public –'first come, first serve'

SpaceX Starlink is now available to the public –'first come, first serve'

SpaceX operates a constellation of Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit where they beam high-speed broadband internet service. The aerospace company currently operates approximately 1,085 satellites out of over 4,400 it plans to deploy. And targets to launch 120 satellites per month this year to provide internet coverage globally. Starlink will benefit rural and remote communites where terrestrial internet is unreliable, unavailable, or too expensive to setup. Around three months ago, SpaceX started a ‘Better Than Nothing Beta’ test service that invited customers to test the network. Now, Starlink is available to the public –“Starlink is available to a limited number of users per coverage area at this time. Orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis,” SpaceX announced through its website on February 8. The updated website now allows customers to order a Starlink Kit priced at $499 USD. Monthly internet service fee is $99 USD per month. “Your Starlink Kit arrives with everything you need to get online including your Starlink, Wi-Fi router, power supply, cables and mounting tripod,” the company states. 

When a customer orders the kit this week it only charges the service fee, not full price if the satellites cannot provide service where they live at the moment, “Starlink will begin offering service in your area beginning mid to late 2021. Orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis. You will be notified via email prior to shipment, and you will be charged the remainder of your balance once your kit ships,” SpaceX wrote via e-mail to a Starlink customer. “During beta, users can expect to see data speeds vary from 50Mb/s to150Mb/s [megabits per second] and latency from 20ms to 40ms [milliseconds] in most locations over the next several months as we enhance the Starlink system. There will also be brief periods of no connectivity at allm” the company states, “As we launch more satellites, install more ground stations and improve our networking software, data speed, latency and uptime will improve dramatically.”

“Latency is the time it takes to send data from one point to the next. When satellites are far from Earth, latency is high, resulting in poor performance for activities like video calls and online gaming,” SpaceX explains, “Starlink satellites are over 60 times closer to Earth than traditional satellites, resulting in lower latency and the ability to support services typically not possible with traditional satellite internet.” Early this month, SpaceX told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that “over 10,000 users in the United States and abroad are using the service today.” Some of these customers are from Canada and European countries. The updated website includes customers reviews and download links to the Starlink App. 

About the Author

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.

Follow me on X

Reading next

Neuralink Could Start The First Human Trials Later This Year
Tesla Boosts China Revenue by 123.6% YoY to $6.66B in 2020, & Model Y Is About to Rock the Market

Tesla Accessories