Starlink testing achieved more than 100Mbps, trouble ahead for NBN ?

    SpaceX is launching another rocket today, with today’s payload containing more Starlink Satellites that will deliver high-speed internet around the globe.

    The mission is to blanket the globe with internet coverage, thanks to a matrix of thousands of satellites, delivering connectivity to regional and rural parts of the world that traditionally have terrible internet. This would also advance connectivity on non-perminant structured like cruise ships, assuming you want to cruise again at some time in the future.

    During the live stream for today’s latest launch, we got some extra information about recent testing of the Startlink service, by SpaceX employees.

    Starlink has confirmed they are able to deliver low-latency. We don’t yet have any detail on how many ms of latency we can expect, however we do now know what download speeds are possible. SpaceX confirmed that download speeds of 100Mbps+ were achieved on Starlink.

    These speeds are particularly relevant to Australia’s internet landscape that sees much of our country suffer from 2nd class internet speeds. Starlink has the opportunity to change that considerably and deliver a more universal level of service to Australians and the world.

    While launching thousands of satellites into space certainly isn’t cheap, Starlink could be the first truly global internet provider. This means they could distribute the cost across a much larger user-base than traditional ISPs. The cost per month, per user (or household) from Starlink could arrive at significantly lower costs and in many places, at better speeds.

    Communication between multiple Starlink satellites is also being tested, with ‘Space Lasers’ having recently transferred hundreds of gigabytes of data.

    The latest launch included an additional 60 satellites, adding to more than 700 satellites solar-powered satellites already deployed.

    Thankfully today’s launch went well and once again, SpaceX landed the booster on the drone ship, ‘Of course I still love you’. This is the second use of this booster, an important aspect of making launches more affordable.

    You can get more information at

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021


        • If the libs hadn’t sabotaged fibre to the door. We wouldn’t be having this conversation. A hard line system is way more robust than a satellite system. Imagine what one high altitude emp burst would do to the system. Fibre to the door is way easier to repair and safer than a satellite system. Once the SATs are gone or offline. It’s easy to stop more being launched. That being said if it’s what we have to use then I’ll use it.

          • If Labor hadn’t added speed tiers to the NBN with the expectation that <1% would connect at 1Gbps in 2026 we wouldn't be having this discussion.

            If the LNP removed speed tiers on FTTN, the average speed would be 68Mbps, faster than FTTP with speed tiers.

        • Interestingly in 2007 the Australian public voted for Rudd’s FTTN plan.
          In response to Telstra’s recalcitrant attitude, FTTP was an attempt at saving face

    1. It will be interesting to see how countries like Australia who invested over 50 Billion dollars into a substandard NBN Will handle a foreign company to enter the market place especially now that the government is going after overseas companies that rape profits and don’t pay their fair share of taxes,
      I hope Elon Musk has morality and ethics as part of his business plan. Tony From Western Australia.

      • Sad that if the NBN didn’t have speed tiers we would all have 1Gbps today.

        Instead Labor added speed tiers to the NBN, wrote a plan with the expectation that close to 50% would be connecting at 12Mbps and less than 1% would be connecting at 1Gbps in 2026.

        • Grow up. The LNP stuffed up the NBN on purpose. They could have abolished speed tiers any timw they wanted.
          Stop tryi g to blame the government of a decade ago for the failings of the one in power ever since.

          • I find it interesting that people focus on speed as a metric, but with their wallets vote for unlimited data plans.

            I also find very few calling publicly for the abolishing of speed tiers, but cheer the LNP when CVC prices are cut from Labor’s $20/Mbps to $8/Mbps (lower than expected) and bundled with AVC. When NBNCo costs are largely fixed then decreasing CVC revenue means AVC revenue has to increase.

      • Theoretically capable of delivering. It’s irrelevant anyway, since it’s the last mile that counts the most and for the majority of Australians, they are unable to get even 1Gbps (which is now available in many countries). For many, a measly 50Mbps is a no-go due to being on FTTN. These satellites are proving that SpaceX is on track to being a serious contender against fixed line internet, and if they continue to develop at the rapid pace they are, then we’ll soon see 1Gbps+ speeds with low latency available anywhere in the world. The NBN ought to be very concerned.

          • The speed you get on fttn is completely dependent on how close to the node you are. You might get 100mbps, but the guy 500m – 1km father away may only get 40mbps

          • I’m bang in the middle of suburbia Melbourne and until a week ago I was stuck with an ancient naked ADSL connection measured in kbps. It took a neighbour some serious complaining to the local MP just to get NBN happening at our place.

      • I don’t know if your assertion about the cost is correct. These satellites are small, mass produced, inexpensive, and expendable. The cost of launching them is now barely 1 percent of what it used to be, and that cost is continuing to come down. The aim is to have thousands of them in low-earth orbit, working in a mesh-connected swarm. There are already 700 of them up there, and it’s still just in the R&D phase! With the cost amortised over a global customer base, it’s likely that this network will be cheaper for consumers. I’d rather have fibre to my house too, but the MTM NBN has killed that possibility for likely years to come, in which time these satellites will likely be ready to provide a very suitable alternative.

        • If we can deploy thousands of satellites into orbit we can run fibre optic cables to everyone.
          Just get the original NBN Fttp plan completed.
          Its not all about download speeds.

          • Awesome idea, really, but donyou expect our useless government to do it? The guys that sabotaged it so Ruperts Foxtel would stay relevant are still in government.

            • You need to go back two decades to Telstra putting speed limits on ADSL1 (256Kbps, 512Kbps and 1500Kbps) to protect Foxtel from streaming. You can stream HD easily with 8Mbps.

              However you can thank Labor for establishing NBNCo as a monopoly with speed tiers, taking us back to the bad old days of Telstra.

        • Expected price is USD80/month plus USD200-400 for the antenna. Metro Aus users can get 1GB/s fibre for that price.

          Expect price to be even higher in Australia as Starlink will add in the usual “Australia tax” of additional 30%. So maybe AUD130-140 /month.

          Total Starlink cost so far is USD 10 billion. While only 17 non-GDO satellites are above Aus, total global build cost is expected to hit USD 30 billion before profit is made. That’s a lot of investors to pay back.

          You say amortised across the globe, however, only USA and Aus are predicted to be big users. EMEA and Asia either have good fibre or are too poor.

          Satellite licensing fees are not cheap, not radio spectrum and both only getting more expensive as it gets crowded up there. They also need to buy ground fibre and rent space on big expensive broadcast dishes. For instance, Foxtel wants the same frequency. Imagine who will win in a bidding war: Foxtel/News corp Vs Starlink!

          • Metro users are not the market for this. I live between Brisbane and the Gold Coast hinterland and NBN was clearly too hard for my neighbourhood. They didn’t even bother to try fixed wireless and palmed us off to satellite. The best I can hope for is 25Mbps. But, of course, “Actual speeds may vary due to many factors…”.

            Starlink doesn’t need ground fibre or broadcast dishes, that’s not how satellite internet works and Elon doesn’t do “investors”, he just builds stuff.

            And when he builds this, they will come. I’ve already joined the Starlink mailing list.

      • Of course optical fibre is the best but it’s obviously considered impractical for rural and remote areas that aren’t covered by fixed wireless. Even though decades ago the country rolled out copper to most premises and fibre is now cheaper than copper, but I’m not a bean counter.

        “Data quota prices will be much more expensive to recover the enormous cost of placing the satellites”

        That’s possible, but it’s got to be better than NBN Co’s riddiculous satellite pricing. If you recall the original NBN mandate (before MTM NBN), it was to make the price of the NBN the same per megabit wheather you live in the city or in the middle of nowhere. That never happened.

        iiNet’s top NBN satellite plan is $64.95 for 60+190 GB of data. Skymesh’s top plan is $199.95 for unmetereed non-video content and 300 GB for video content. The maximaum speed the satellite plans actually guarantee is a pathetic 5Mbps with the possibility to achieve 25Mbps. Naturally these plans are great for those that have never been able to get anything better than satellite, but this pricing is unacceptable and it’s equilally unacceptable to expect someone with ADSL to migrate to this piss-poor satellite “solution” if they want faster speeds than their ADSL line permits.

        For me, I’m on ADSL (6Mbps) and I’m only 100 metres outside of the fixed wireless. If NBN Co were more flexible, an antenna a little higher up than standard would work, but no! They are not. So I for one cannot wait for Starlink as I refuse to sign up to NBN Co’s weak satelite solution.

        So to counter your statement, anything from Starlink has to be better than the crap the current Federal Government has offered.

        “the round-trip lag will make voice and video calls impossible.”

        Actually, leaked speedtests from the private beta users shows a ping of 32 – 90ms, with an average of 40 – 45ms. Even if 90ms is worst case scenario (from memory it was only ONE sample that showed this high latency), that is still impressive latency for satellite and beats the garbage that NBN Co wants regional customers to use.

    2. Government just wasted taxpayers money, it’s big corruption, they know 5G network faster than NBN, but still, they act like they don’t know about that.

      • I agree it is such a shame that Labor decided that the NBN should have speed tiers. If Labor hadn’t added speed tiers all the fixed connections would be 1Gbps today.

    3. The problem here is that 100mbps isn’t that fast (about 12.5 megabytes per second) and that speed will have to be spread across multiple connections. Don’t go ditching your nbn plans yet.

      • Umm… that is a single connection. Rumours are that each satellite antenna is 1.5Gbps.
        Secondly the network will be sized for significantly more densely populated areas in North America, so with Australia’s lower density, the potential for congestion should be significantly lower.

    4. Thank yourselves Australians. Idiots! Labour offer fibre optics to all premises, bringing aus to the 21st century and Liberals offer half a job, in the end costing more than the $60b for the job done properly with fibre optics. As is the case everywhere nowadays, half a job done is a job well done. Same reason we’ve lost steel smelting to other countries. It’s easier to say “arh she’ll be right mate” and then do a half arsed job thinking it’s ok. Love the network you chose Australia. Imagine the ninki nonk choices you make in everyday life if you accept this was a job well done. Sad. Can’t wait for the nbn to become redundant because of tech like this. Thanks spacex

      • It was destined to fail from day dot! I know you are trying to put Labor on a pedestal, but they seriously under budgeted and under estimated the costs. It would have easily been double should it have continued. It would therefore have been unaffordable for people to use. There are two sides to every argument. Just some wear blinkers!

      • Too right why doesn’t everyone know tony yabbot is totally to blame for a shitty nbn. He fought to kill the nbn completely but does anyone remember that? Such short memories no wonder you always vote for the biggest dickhead with a checkbook in his hand
        I used to be proud of my country but you keep voting for total peanuts. Shame on you all

    5. I will join you guys at the moment I’m with satilite NBN and is very unreasonable and unreliable ,not enough peak downloads and expensive also

      • Is it quota, speed or latency that his the biggest issue?

        It is the 30ms latency that I think will deliver the greatest benefit as that will reduce the current 600ms plus delays that make video calls feel worse.

    6. NBN what a waste of time and money. We always seem to be well behind the digital times here in Australia with what seems like second rate and very expensive services.

    7. I had a cable connection 100+ speed. I have foolishly moved to NBN after getting bombarded with mail telling me cable is going to be discontinued 2020.NBN tech told me Cable will go till 2024 because they are so for behind in roll out.
      Wish I stayed on my cable. NBN is slow slow slow and more expensive.
      It’s crap. Can’t wait to dump NBN and Telstra. Contacted Telstra and NBN about speed. All they can offer are apologies. What a stuff up.
      If you’ve got cable connection stay with it.

    8. Just remember if you voted for liberals when the nbn was being oreposed this crappy sub-standard NBN is you fault…Labor was making FTTH you guys need to take responsibility for the crapfest we got instead

      • Indeed! The country was warned and unfortunately not enough people bothered to do their research on the garbage the Liberals were selling. People that voted for them only have themselves to blame.

        However, the majority of customers that Starlink would target, the politics of the NBN have made next to no difference since it’s satellite or fixed wireless anyhow. Though I can see that many FTTN customers could benefit too.

      • Except that the biggest reason for slow internet in Australia is the speed tiers that Labor added to the NBN. If the LNP removed speed tiers from FTTN at an average of 68Mbps, it would be significantly faster than Labor expected FTTP.

    9. I am sorry that your NBN experience is below your expectations. We have the NBN and our experience is great. Very fast, very strong and very reliable. I can only say great things about the NBN.

      Oh, and I Do Not work for any of the telco’s or the NBN.

    10. I expect to see high take-up by grey nomads. If service can work on an airplane, then a slower moving vehicle should be easy. When at home during summer, StarLink can also be used, either by leaving it connected to the caravan or connecting the antenna to the house. Families taking time-off to travel around Australia will also be likely customers.

      For a reference point it is not uncommon for grey nomads to take their foxtel service with them in the caravan and that is much harder to setup as the antenna is directional.

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