Starlink Expansion

Several bits of news about SpaceX’s Starlink came out yesterday.

#1 Pre-orders are open

Starlink started accepting pre-orders in a whole bunch of countries. If you’re living in an eligible area, you can enter your address on Starlink’s website and get a rough estimate for when Starlink service will be available to you. A pre-order can be placed by putting down about $100

#2 More beta invites

It looks like Starlink may have sent out a record number of invitations to the beta program yesterday. And I got one!

I paid about $500 for the satellite dish and router plus about $100 more for shipping and taxes. Starlink is suggesting shipping may take 2-4 weeks right now since the company is dealing with a heavy volume of orders.

In an email I received, Starlink doubled down on some performance claims (emphasis mine):

During beta, users can expect to see data speeds vary from 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s and latency from 20ms to 40ms in most locations over the next several months as we enhance the Starlink system. There will also be brief periods of no connectivity at all.

As we launch more satellites, install more ground stations and improve our networking software, data speed, latency and uptime will improve dramatically. For latency, we expect to achieve 16ms to 19ms by summer 2021.

I’m excited to get started testing Starlink, and I’ll try to share details about my experience as soon as possible.

#3 Starlink tweets

SpaceX’s founder, Elon Musk, recently shared a few noteworthy tweets about Starlink. One vague tweet touched on a potential Starlink IPO:

Another tweet included some sober details about the difficulties of running a satellite internet business:

Finally, I thought this exchange was great:

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