SpaceX’s Starlink Internet Service Now Has 10,000 Users

SpaceX’s Starlink satellite Internet service currently has more than 10,000 users, the company said this week.

SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, invited attendees to sign up for a public beta of its Internet-from-Space service in October 2020. The price was $ 99 per month. Selected individuals are also required to make a one-time payment of $ 499 for the Starlink kit, which includes the components required to connect to the Starlink satellites. While the company apparently controls customer numbers, increased trust in the project – and a growing satellite constellation – allows SpaceX to offer the service to more and more people.

In a recent announcement by CNBC to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), California’s SpaceX said, “Starlink’s performance is neither theoretical nor experimental … [and] accelerating rapidly in real time as part of its public beta program. “

The company said in the filing that studies have shown that the system in its current form “hits and exceeds 100/20 megabits per second throughput for individual users,” which the company previously indicated that it is “fast enough.” to stream multiple HD movies at once “and still have bandwidth left over. “

Since the deployment of the first Starlink satellites in May 2019, SpaceX has steadily expanded the constellation to around 1,000 satellites through regular rocket launches and plans to deploy around 4,000 satellites by 2024. The company’s most recent Starlink mission, deploying an additional 60 satellites, took place earlier today, with the next scheduled for Sunday, February 7th.

SpaceX’s long-term goal is to provide the earth with broadband connections and provide affordable and reliable internet for all, including communities in remote areas that currently have little or no access to decent internet services.

The company learned last December that it would receive federal funding of $ 900 million to deliver its Internet service to rural homes and businesses in the United States. The FCC announced a Phase I funding round totaling $ 9.2 billion in grants to 180 companies to improve Internet services across the country, with an additional $ 11.2 billion to be distributed in the next phase .

SpaceX’s Starlink initiative didn’t go entirely smoothly. Shortly after the satellite first launched in 2019, astronomers began to raise concerns about how the sunlight reflected from the satellites could potentially disrupt the work of the stargazing community. SpaceX has signaled its willingness to find a solution and has tried various designs for the satellites, such as: B. the equipment with visors to reduce the bright glare.

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