SpaceX is deploying a constellation of Starlink satellites that will provide high-speed broadband internet globally. SpaceX is currently offering Starlink Beta internet service in northern United States and Canada by invitation only. With approximately 960 internet-beaming satellites in low Earth orbit SpaceX can only allocate service to customers based on the location they reside in. Potential customers may sign-up via Starlink.com to receive updates about when service will be available in their area. The company plans to deploy more satellites in 2021, that will be capable of providing broadband service to more customers globally. Company officials state their priority is currently focused on connecting rural communities where traditional internet is unreliable.
Approximately 2.5 million individuals in Australia still lack access to internet at home due to the service being either too expensive or unavailable in the rural location they reside in. In October, SpaceX received initial approval to operate Starlink as a business in Australia and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) granted SpaceX licenses to operate a total of 24 Starlink ground stations in the country. On Friday, ACMA announced it provided licenses to fifteen telecommunications companies looking for 5G millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum, among those is SpaceX Starlink, according to an Australian news site – ZDnet. The license SpaceX received is to operate Starlink in the 26GHz and 28GHz (gigahertz) bands.
Starlink users connect to the internet via a phased-array antenna dish that receives signal from the satellites in low Earth orbit. SpaceX Engineer Kate Tice shared in September that the company has been assessing the Starlink satellites' and that the results ‘have been good.’ – “They show super-low latency and download speeds greater than 100 [megabits] per second. That means our latency is low enough to play the fastest online video games and our download speeds are fast enough to stream multiple HD movies at once,” she said. The network is “very much a work in progress,” she added, stating that as more satellites are deployed it will “unlock the full capability.”
About the Author
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.