Starlink Terminal Digital Illustration Created By: Erc X @ErcXspace via Twitter.
SpaceX is actively assessing the Starlink broadband network’s performance, it begun a private beta service for users across multiple U.S. states. Company employees received early access to the user terminal and Wi-Fi router device to connect and receive data from the Starlink satellites in space. To date, there are around 708 internet-beaming Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit, out of the 4,409 satellites SpaceX plans to initially deploy.
The 19-inch user terminal dish will not require a professional to install at home, like other networks. The customer will be able to easily install the service – “Instructions are simply: plug-in socket, point at sky,” the founder of SpaceX Elon Musk said. Early this year, he shared that the Starlink terminal dish features the ability to search for the satellite constellation –“Starlink terminal has motors to self-adjust optimal angle to view sky,” Musk shared. The device's technology is advanced enough to find the signal on its own, users will not have to figure out where the Starlink constellation might be nor adjust the terminal as the satellites move across the sky.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted SpaceX the operation of 1 million dish terminals in the United States. Early August, SpaceX submitted a new request with the FCC, seeking to increase the number of Starlink user terminals to 5 million. “SpaceX Services requests this increase in authorized units due to the extraordinary demand for access to the Starlink non-geostationary orbit satellite system,” the company wrote to the FCC.
SpaceX told the FCC on September 2, it “invested over $70 million developing and producing thousands of consumer user terminals per month” and that “is on track to produce thousands of user terminals per month, heading towards high-rate production.”
SpaceX asked potential customers to submit their e-mail to receive updates of when the service will be available in their area. Starlink will initially be offered in high latitudes, starting with northern portions of the United States and Canada. You can sign up for updates about when Starlink will be available in your area via SpaceX’s website Starlink.com.
“Despite the fact that SpaceX has yet to formally advertise this system’s services, nearly 700,000 individuals represented in all 50 states signed up over a matter of just days to register their interest,” the company wrote to the FCC in July. “To ensure that SpaceX is able to accommodate the apparent demand for its broadband Internet access service, SpaceX Services requests a substantial increase in the number of authorized units.”
SpaceX Senior Program Reliability Engineer Kate Tice shared during the latest Starlink satellite deployment that “The Starlink team has been collecting latency statistics and performing standard speed tests of the system,” she said, “This means that we’re checking how fast data travels from the satellites to our customers, and then back to the rest of the internet. Initial results have been good. Tice also shared that the Starlink broadband’s latency speeds have been "low enough to play the fastest online video games, and our download speed is fast enough to stream multiple HD movies at once and still have bandwidth to spare."
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.