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SpaceX’s Starlink Internet Service From Space Will Be Open To Everyone In August
By Alexa Heah, 01 Jul 2021
Image via Thomas Dutour / Shutterstock.com
Beginning August this year, SpaceX’s satellite internet service, Starlink, will be made available to almost everyone around the world – unless you’re living at the North or South Pole. The service expects more than 500,000 sign-ups within a year.
At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2021 this week, SpaceX founder Elon Musk revealed that Starlink has already accepted 69,000 existing subscribers from its beta launch last October. The initiative had been positioned as a way to bridge the gap between areas with high-speed internet and underserved areas with less access to broadband.
However, prices for Starlink are rather steep, causing doubt as to if the service can really offer high-speed internet to underserved communities around the globe.
As it stands, new customers will have to cough up US$499 for the initial Starlink hardware, followed by US$99 a month for the subscription service itself. While it may be the only option for homes in broadband-barren areas, the total cost of the service will certainly price out some of the population.
Price point aside, the reliability of Starlink’s service in more urban areas is also in doubt. According to Input, Musk warned that despite the service now being open to everyone, it’s meant to work in “sparsely populated regions.” While those in densely populated areas, such as cities, could end up with inconsistent connections.
Currently, Starlink has yet to turn profitable. At the moment, it’s losing approximately US$800 for every setup it sells, and launching new satellites could cost as much as US$30 billion over the next decade, as reported by Input.
“Every other low-Earth orbit constellation ever done has gone bankrupt. Step number one for Starlink is don’t go bankrupt,” Musk said.
[via Input, cover image via Thomas Dutour / Shutterstock.com]
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