SpaceX

SpaceX Already Has Over Ten Thousand Starlink Internet Users

SpaceX Already Has Over Ten Thousand Starlink Internet Users

Starlink Dish Digital Illustration By @ErcXspace via Twitter

SpaceX filed a request with the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeking to designate Starlink as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC). Obtaining the ETC designation would enable SpaceX to start providing service to rural communities in the states of Alabama, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. States where SpaceX received Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) funding to close the digital divide by providing Starlink service. "Designating Starlink Services as an ETC is in the public interest because it will enable the company to receive support that will facilitate rapid deployment of broadband and voice service to the Service Areas at speeds and latency comparable to terrestrial systems in urban locations," SpaceX stated in the FCC filing. "Starlink Services respectfully requests that the Commission grant this petition by June 7, 2021 in order for Starlink Services to meet the Commission's deadline for ETC designation for the purposes of receiving RDOF support."

The new filing also revealed that the Starlink network is already providing internet connection to over ten thousand users. “Starlink’s performance is not theoretical or experimental. Over 10,000 users in the United States and abroad are using the service today,” SpaceX wrote to the FCC. The company started to provide Starlink satellite broadband internet service direct-to-consumers who signed up via Starlink.com around three months ago. Starlink beta service is currently only offered to individuals based on location. Customers receive connection via a Starlink Kit priced at $499 USD. The kit includes a phased-array antenna dish, mounting equipment, and Wi-Fi router to connect to wireless devices. Monthly internet service costs $99 USD per month. “While its performance is rapidly accelerating in real time as part of its public beta program, the Starlink network has already successfully demonstrated it can surpass the Commission’s ‘Above Baseline’ and ‘Low Latency’ performance tiers,” the company told the FCC. SpaceX stated it already met and exceeded 100/20 megabits per second (Mbps) throughput to individual users –“Demonstrating performance of 95% of network round-trip latency measurements at or below 31 milliseconds.”

 

“Starlink continues to improve as SpaceX deploys additional infrastructure and capability, averaging two Starlink launches per month, to add significant on-orbit capacity alongside activation of additional gateways to improve performance and expand service coverage areas across the country,” SpaceX told the Commission. The company is on track to launch two Starlink missions this month to accelerate service rollout to the general public. On Thursday, February 4, SpaceX launched the eighteenth fleet of 60 Starlink satellites to orbit which increased the total amount of satellites deployed to 1,085 (including prototypes). A Falcon 9 rocket is ready to launch the nineteenth fleet on Sunday, February 7. SpaceX officials previously said that in order to provide Starlink internet globally, launching 24 fleets of 60 satellites would be required. Once SpaceX reaches approximately 1,440 satellites in orbit they will be capable to expand service on a global scale. 

Starlink Dish Digital Illustration By @ErcXspace via Twitter

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.

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