SpaceX Says Starlink Internet Has Over 10,000 Users Across the U.S., Canada and UK

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Spacex falcon 9 february 2021

SpaceX has revealed its Starlink satellite internet service now has over 10,000 beta users in the United States “and abroad”, according to a public filing, reports CNBC.

In a filing to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Starlink said its internet “performance is not theoretical or experimental. Over 10,000 users in the United States and abroad are using the service today.” Starlink’s beta is currently available in the U.S., Canada and the UK.

“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,” wrote SpaceX.

Starlink is an internet service based on a constellation of low-earth orbit satellites, that hover 550 km (341 miles) above the planet, much lower than traditional satellites at 36,000 km (22,369 miles). This allows Starlink to deliver faster download speeds and connections, especially to rural areas where internet offerings are limited.

The letter to the FCC says Starlink is “meeting and exceeding 100/20 megabits per second (“Mbps”) throughput to individual users,” while “demonstrating performance of 95% of network round-trip latency measurements at or below 31 milliseconds.”

The company has also successfully tested a “standalone voice service over the Starlink network.”

SpaceX is asking the FCC to designate Starlink as an “Eligible Telecommunications Carrier” or ETC, so it can meet eligibility for offering service in Alabama, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

The FCC Rural Digital Opportunities Fund auction granted SpaceX nearly $900 million in subsidies to service these rural regions with internet.

Currently, Starlink says there are over 1,000 satellites in orbit. It says it continues to add more satellites to its constellations, averaging two Starlink launches per month, at a rate faster than comparable services. SpaceX says the flat design of Starlink satellites allows for a larger payload to be sent into orbit.

Starlink beta’s monthly cost is $99 USD per month, after the initial $499 USD cost of the service’s starter kit that includes a satellite dish and wireless router.

Just this morning, SpaceX sent 60 more Starlink satellites into space and another batch of 60 is planned for Friday morning.

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