SpaceX extends Starlink’s public beta testing to Canada, UK
A Starlink user terminal mounted on the roof of a building.
SpaceX has launched more than 1,000 of its Starlink high-speed Internet satellites to date. With the company filing for regulatory approval in other countries, Elon Musk’s company is now offering early public access to the service in Canada and the UK
“Earlier this month we expanded our Better than Nothing Beta program to include customers across the UK,” said Jessie Anderson, lead manufacturing engineer at SpaceX, during the company’s launch webcast on Wednesday.
“In the northern US and Canada, and now in the UK, we are focusing on rural and remote areas where there is no easy access to fiber or cable,” added Anderson.
SpaceX launched the public beta program in October at a cost of $ 99 a month and a $ 499 upfront cost to order the Starlink kit, which includes a user terminal and a wireless router to connect to the satellites.
Starlink is SpaceX’s plan to build a networked Internet network with thousands of satellites to deliver high-speed Internet anywhere in the world.
Building the network is an ambitious endeavor, and SpaceX says it will cost at least $ 10 billion or more to build. However, management estimates that Starlink could bring in up to $ 30 billion a year, which is more than ten times the annual revenue of its missile business.
SpaceX deploys 60 Starlink satellites in orbit.
SpaceX launched its 17th Starlink mission from Florida on Wednesday morning with a Falcon 9 rocket that put another batch of 60 satellites into orbit.
The launch also marked a milestone in SpaceX’s reuse of its rockets. The Falcon 9 booster took off and landed for the eighth time. Musk has previously said that SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets are designed to take off and land up to ten times without major repairs or renovations.
Anderson noted that in addition to individuals in rural northern United States, SpaceX has enrolled the city of Marysville, Ohio, and the Wise County Public School District in Virginia for the Starlink service.
In the Canadian province of Ontario, the rural indigenous community of Pikangikum First Nation became the first in the country to receive Starlink service.
The Pikangikum is about 300 kilometers northeast of Winnipeg and has fewer than 3,000 inhabitants with around 400 to 500 households. SpaceX has partnered with Canadian information and technology services company FSET to provide Starlink user terminals for the Pikangikum community.
SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet connectivity kits are air-delivered to the remote Canadian indigenous community of Pikangikum First Nation.
“I hope this gives them, the younger generations, some hope,” said Vernon Kejick, director of victim services for the Pikangikum Health Authority, in a video on SpaceX’s launch webcast. “We’re creating a way for the younger people.”
The Starlink kits were delivered by air. This is the community’s primary connection with more populous areas of Canada.
“There’s still a lot to be done, but at least we have access to technology and information, and hopefully the playing field is at least a little closer to par,” said Dave Brown, CEO of FSET, on the webcast on Wednesday.
Starlink recently received approval to operate in the UK where the price is £ 89 per month plus the cost of £ 439 for the kit. It is unclear how many households and offices are currently using Starlink’s service.
SpaceX continues to seek international expansion for Starlink. Public records indicate that the company is registered in Austria, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, France, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the Philippines. South Africa and Spain.
The company also applied for market access in Japan, and Musk has been talking about Starlink coming to India and the Caribbean as well.
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