SpaceX aspires to close the digital divide in rural communites around the world. The aerospace company is creating a satellite broadband internet network called Starlink. To date, SpaceX has deployed around 768 internet-beaming satellites out of the 4,409 that will operate in Low Earth Orbit at approximately 550-kilometers. Starlink custmers will receive service via a 19-inch user terminal dish and Wi-Fi router device.
SpaceX submitted filings to seek a telecommunications license in several countries worldwide under a subsidiary company name - "TIBRO." In November last year, SpaceX submitted a filing under the TIBRO name with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) which regulates telecommunications service. The ACMA granted TIBRO a telecommunications license to offer internet on August 7 this year. Then, SpaceX changed the name from TIBRO AUSTRALIA PTY LTD to STARLINK AUSTRALIA PTY LTD on October 3.
Company officials state Starlink will initially be provided in countries located in the northern latitudes. Before this year ends, SpaceX will offer broadband internet in northern United States and southern Canada. Service in Australia may be offered sometime in 2021.
The founder of SpaceX Elon Musk recently said the company will offer a Starlink Public Beta Test of its service "very soon". Earlier this month, after the latest deployment of 60 Starlink satellites Musk said --"Once these satellites reach their target position, we will be able to roll out a fairly wide public beta in northern US & hopefully southern Canada. Other countries to follow as soon as we receive regulatory approval," he wrote via Twitter.
Once these satellites reach their target position, we will be able to roll out a fairly wide public beta in northern US & hopefully southern Canada. Other countries to follow as soon as we receive regulatory approval.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 6, 2020
Potential 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. SpaceX employees are activley testing the network.
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.