SpaceX is now rolling out beta tests for its satellite internet service, Starlink
Satellite internet that doesn’t suck.
If you signed up for news regarding SpaceX’s satellite internet service, Starlink, you might have gotten a special email last night.
The email details how to join the first public beta test, called the Better Than Nothing Beta, in true Elon Musk style. Yes, just like SpaceX’s ships, the Starlink internet beta is named after a ship from Iain M. Banks’ Culture series.
One such email, posted to Reddit last night, had brief details on how to sign up, and the costs involved. It’s pretty reasonable, $499 for the satellite dish linkup that lives on your roof, and $99 a month for the service.
That gets you data speeds of between “50Mb/s to 150Mb/s” with latencies ranging from 20ms to 40ms. With the average latency for satellite internet being 594–624 ms, that’s a huge improvement, allowing users to play fast-paced multiplayer games without issues.
In sharp contrast to normal satellite internet, Starlink isn’t implementing a data cap. That’s huge and shows Musk’s dedication to his aim of blanketing the world with global internet. While everything is shrouded in secrecy, we’ve also seen some Ookla speed tests of between 11 Mbps and 60 Mbps. SpaceX has noted it has seen speeds of up to 100 Mbps. Maybe we’ll see more now that beta testers are being added.
Currently, SpaceX has launched 900 of its CubeSat satellites to orbit, with around 100 taken out of operations as they failed in orbit. That’s only a fraction of the 12,000 that SpaceX says it needs to blanket the world in internet from near-earth orbit.
We’ve reached out to see if we can get added to the Better Than Nothing Beta, and will update you if we hear back.
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