Featured Image Source: NASA
SpaceX will soon offer Starlink satellite broadband internet to individuals who would like to beta test the network. With around 768 satellites in orbit the company aims to first offer Starlink service to Northern portions of the United States and Southern Canada soon. Though, approval to provide broadband to Canadians is still pending. Company officials state Starlink will mainly be offered in rural areas around the world, where traditional terrestrial internet is hard to access.
The aerospace company hopes to gain a small percentage of the telecommunications market to fund its space program, that involves building a Starship fleet to colonize Mars. -- “The whole purpose of SpaceX is really to help make life multi-planetary..." the founder of SpaceX Elon Musk said in March. "But the revenue potential of launching satellites to the space station, that taps out about $3 billion dollars a year. But I think providing broadband is more like an order of magnitude more than that, probably $30 billion a year as a rough approximation," he said. Starlink could provide additional funding for SpaceX's long-term mission.
SpaceX is working towards obtaining telecommunications license in several countries worldwide to initiate offering service by 2021. The company submitted a filing in New Zealand to obtain a license under a subsidiary company name called, "TIBRO" (which spells "orbit" backwards). Earlier this month, on October 2nd, SpaceX changed the name from TIBRO NEW ZEALAND UNLIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY to STARLINK NEW ZEALAND UNLIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, as it obtained its license to offer service.
The company took similar steps when it filed for a license in Australia. On October 3rd, SpaceX changed the company's name from TIBRO AUSTRALIA PTY LTD to STARLINK AUSTRALIA PTY LTD. New Zealand is located Southeast of Australia. Both countries are located at a Southern latitude. Musk says Starlink will initially be provided in countries located in the Northern latitudes; Southern latitudes will be covered as SpaceX deploys more Starlink satellites to orbit in 2021.
SpaceX Starlink receives license to offer satellite internet in Australiahttps://t.co/GwJ6S8woxY— Tesmanian.com (@Tesmanian_com) October 12, 2020
Starlink users will receive broadband internet service from the satellite constellation in space via 19-inch user dish terminals that need to be installed outdoors with a clear view of the Northern sky. The dish will be easy to install and will not require a professional technician like traditional internet services. Starlink has simple installation instructions simply "plug-in and point at sky". Potential Starlink customers may sign-up to receive updates of when the service will be available in their city via Starlink.com. Those who sign-up may be selected to become a beta tester.