One of Elon Musk’s side hustles is a little thing called Starlink that aims to blanket the globe with internet coverage from high-speed satellites.
Last week SpaceX launched another rocket that took another 60 Starlink satellites to orbit, 550 kilometres from earth. This latest batch adds to the 422 already deployed for a current total of 482 Satellites now in space.
By the time Starlink is complete, it will include more than 12,000 satellites, with the project costing a massive US$10 billion to achieve.
Commercial satellites are nothing new, providing internet to select parts of the globe, like our Skymuster Satellite (also launched by SpaceX) that provides internet to rural and remote parts of Australia. The difference here is that Starlink’s matrix of satellites will essentially provide access to the internet to everyone on the planet.
Satellite internet connections typically offer slow speeds compared to other connectivity types, as well as increased latency, due to the transit time between the ground station and satellite, then down again. They also suffer reduced speeds as the number of simultaneous connections increase. Satellites are also restricted by a fixed bandwidth, shared across each customer and priced accordingly (not cheap).
This is all about to change when Starlink’s internet services come online, with the promoted benefits of this next breed of satellites to offer high speed, low-latency and at low-cost.
It is expected the first signups will be restricted to high latitudes, meaning the US and Canada are well positioned to be the first to access the service. For those of us located south of the equator, we’ll need to wait a little longer.
The first trials are expected later in 2020, with the service locations to expand throughout the world across 2021 and beyond. Today the signup page went live. This isn’t a signup for the service, but rather signing up for alerts, so you can be notified when Starlink is available in your area.
To sign up for updates and service availability, head to starlink.com/