Skip to main content

SpaceX’s Starlink internet service now has more than 10,000 users

SpaceX’s satellite-based Starlink internet service currently has more than 10,000 users, the company revealed this week.

Elon Musk-led SpaceX invited people to sign up for a public beta of its internet-from-space service in October 2020, pricing it at $99 a month. Those selected also have to pay a $499 one-off payment for the Starlink Kit containing the necessary components to connect to the Starlink satellites. While the company is obviously controlling the customer numbers, increasing confidence in the project — and an expanding satellite constellation —is allowing SpaceX to offer the service to more and more people.

In a recent filing to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) picked up by CNBC, California-based SpaceX said: “Starlink’s performance is not theoretical or experimental … [and] is rapidly accelerating in real time as part of its public beta program.”

The company said in the filing that trials have demonstrated the system in its present form is “meeting and exceeding 100/20 megabits per second throughput to individual users,” which the company earlier pointed out is “fast enough to stream multiple HD movies at once and still have bandwidth to spare.”

Since deploying its first batch of Starlink satellites in May 2019, SpaceX has steadily expanded the constellation to around 1,000 satellites via regular rocket launches, and plans to deploy around 4,000 by 2024. The company’s latest Starlink mission, which deployed another 60 satellites, took place earlier today, with the next one scheduled for Sunday, February 7.

SpaceX’s long-term goal is to blanket Earth in broadband connectivity, beaming 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’s to receive $900 million in federal funding to help it bring its internet service to rural homes and businesses in the U.S. The FCC announced a total of $9.2 billion in subsidies for 180 companies as part of a Phase I funding round to improve internet services nationwide, with an additional $11.2 billion to be distributed in the next phase.

SpaceX’s Starlink initiative hasn’t been completely smooth sailing. Shortly after its first satellite deployment in 2019, astronomers began to raise concerns about how sunlight reflecting off the satellites could potentially disrupt the work of the stargazing community. SpaceX has signaled its eagerness to find a solution and has been trying out different designs for the satellites, such as fitting them with visors aimed at reducing the bright glare.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
SpaceX launches a different kind of Starship
SpaceX's Starship Torch.

On the same day that SpaceX failed to launch the first orbital test flight of its Starship vehicle, the company has managed to launch something similar but altogether smaller: the Starship Torch.

That’s right, folks, for a mere $175, you can be the proud owner of a torch that resembles a very small version of SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft that’s currently sitting atop the Super Heavy rocket on a launchpad at Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas.

Read more
SpaceX scrubs launch of world’s most powerful rocket due to valve issue
SpaceX's Starship rocket on the pad in Boca Chica, Texas.

The planned first test flight of the SpaceX Starship and Super Heavy rocket has been scrubbed. The launch of the world's most powerful rocket had been scheduled for today, Monday April 17, but was called off due to a frozen valve.

The decision was made to halt the countdown around 10 minutes before liftoff, turning the event today into a wet dress rehearsal instead of a test flight. That means the rocket was fueled and ready to launch, but did not actually leave the ground, and the countdown was halted around 40 seconds before liftoff. "A pressurant valve appears to be frozen, so unless it starts operating soon, no launch today," SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter.

Read more
SpaceX aims to launch world’s most powerful rocket on Monday
SpaceX's Super Heavy and Starship.

SpaceX is targeting Monday, April 17, for the maiden launch of the most powerful rocket ever built after receiving clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“After a comprehensive license evaluation process, the FAA determined SpaceX met all safety, environmental, policy, payload, airspace integration, and financial responsibility requirements,” the agency said in a statement on Friday.

Read more