SpaceX’s Starlink offers fast internet across the world using low-earth orbit satellites that pass above us. That service just got cheaper with a limited-time offer (we don’t know how long) in rural Australia.
To get internet via Starlink, you need both the hardware and a monthly service plan. The hardware initially cost A$924 for the dish, a number that SpaceX founder Elon Musk once detailed that they were losing money on.
After some interaction, SpaceX made version 2 a more robust square version of the original dish, but even with optimisation and manufacturing scale, it’s hard to see how they can make money at this price.
Right now, SpaceX is offering a limited-time discount for customers in Rural Australia. You can get the Starlink hardware for just A$199.
There are some terms and conditions on this, namely that you need to be located in rural Australia. Typically the term rural describes some of the more remote parts of the country, so I put it to the test and checked my address, with surprising results.
Despite being located in Wodonga, VIC, which is commonly known as a regional city, the discount still applies. This is great news for those looking to get Starlink who live outside the capital cities as the cost of getting into Starlink just got way cheaper.
The hardware included is actually more than just the Starlink dish itself, it includes a base stand, a router, a 15.2m Starlink cable and a 1.8m AC cable for power. If you want to mount the Starlink on your roof, or on a pole, SpaceX offers these options for extra in the Online Store and you will need to arrange your own installation.
Most satellite internet services come from single geostationary satellites that orbit the planet at 35,786 km. As a result, the round trip data time between the user and satellite—also known as latency—is high, making it nearly impossible to support streaming, online gaming, video calls or other high data rate activities.
Starlink is a constellation of thousands of satellites that orbit the planet much closer to Earth, at about 550km, and cover the entire globe. Because Starlink satellites are in a low orbit, latency is significantly lower—around 25 ms vs 600+ ms.
While speed will vary based on location, many in the Starlink users Australia Facebook group (more than 34,000 members), regularly report speeds of 2-300 Mbps.. far in excess of the typical speeds available in regional and rural areas. This means that while it’s more expensive than a legacy connection, what you get is substantially more in terms of speed and capability.
Once you have the necessary hardware, you’ll need to pay A$139 per month for the service. This means the price at the checkout is A$139 for the service, A$199 for the hardware, $30 for shipping and handling for a total of A$229.00.
It is worth noting that this pricing only applies to the residential version of Starlink and does not apply to the Business, Roaming, Maritime, Aviation or IOT versions.
Shipping times are currently estimated to be 1-2 weeks.
For more information, or to get Starlink, head to https://www.starlink.com/