Canada Approves SpaceX Starlink Internet to Operate

After SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said Starlink was awaiting approval to operate in Canada, the American neighbour up north has now approved the low earth orbit high-speed internet service.

On Friday morning, Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), the Canadian body in charge of telecom, announced “@SpaceX is joining the effort to help get Canadians connected to high-speed Internet! Regulatory approval for the @SpaceXStarlink low Earth orbit satellite constellation has been granted!”

The CRTC previously approved a telecom license for SpaceX back in October.

This is big news for rural Canadians and First Nations that are currently seeking affordable and reliable high-speed internet.

Starlink’s satellite constellation numbers are at 895 in space and its low earth orbit (600 km) allows for faster speeds and lower latency compared to traditional satellite internet, which hovers at 22,000 km above earth.

Customers of rural internet service Xplornet are most likely celebrating this news right about now.

Current Starlink beta testers are seeing download speeds beyond 150 Mbps. You can see an unboxing of the $499 USD kit here. Starlink internet will cost $99 USD per month.

“Our government recognizes that high-speed Internet access is no longer a luxury – it is essential,” said Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains in a statement.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how much we all rely on digital connections. Now more than ever, Canadians are working, learning and communicating with friends and family from home,” added Bains.

With Canada’s telecom controlled by a handful of major players, Starlink is seen an unshackling Canadians from expensive internet plans, especially those in rural areas. Beyond price savings, Starlink internet’s low latency and high-speed connections will allow for 4K video streaming, online gaming and also video conferencing, paving the way to more remote learning opportunities for students.