SpaceX announced this week that the number of Starlink satellite internet users has surpassed 10,000. According to some forecasts, if the deployment of the network continues as successfully, then by 2025 several million people may subscribe to Elon Musk’s satellite Internet.
Starlink has been in beta testing since October 2020. Its cost is $ 99 per month, but you must first buy equipment for $ 500 – the kit includes a user terminal and a dish for connecting to satellites. Unfortunately, now the sale of equipment is carried out only in the USA, Canada and Britain.
Starlink is one of the most ambitious space projects in the history of space exploration. SpaceX plans to place more than 4,000 satellites in orbit by 2024, and their total number could reach 12,000.
Satellite Internet is already showing excellent results, providing a speed of 100/20 megabits per second for reception / transmission, respectively, with a delay of no more than 31 milliseconds. At this speed, even $ 100 a month is not a large amount for remote settlements, farmers and small towns where there is no high-speed connection.
Last December, the Federal Communications Commission granted SpaceX $ 900 million in subsidies to accelerate the rollout of satellite internet to cover most of the US as the country remains challenged with high-speed connectivity.
To date, SpaceX has launched more than 1,000 Starlinks and the pace of new devices is only growing. It is not clear whether Starlink will legally operate in Russia, as a law was previously passed requiring all satellite traffic to be routed through ground stations. And at the beginning of the year there was information that the State Duma of the Russian Federation is considering the introduction of fines for the use of foreign satellite Internet – up to 1 million rubles for companies.
There is still a lot of debate around Starlink, in particular from the scientific community there is enough criticism in connection with the potential “pollution” of the night sky and the threat to space launches.