SpaceX is looking for beta testers for its Starlink internet service.
The first batch of satellites were launched in 2018. The most recent launch on June 13th from Kennedy Space Center, Florida placed 58 new satellites into orbit, bringing the total to 540 Starlink satellites in low earth orbit. SpaceX plans to consolidate this into a 12,000 strong constellation in the near future to connect remotest parts of the planet to the internet. SpaceX has received permission from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch 30,000 Starlink satellites for its broadband internet service.
Starlink’s high-speed broadband internet is capable of beaming data to locations where access has so far been unavailable, unreliable or expensive. Beta testing of the Starlink internet is scheduled to begin this summer.
Users accepted for the beta trial will receive a flat disc antenna (0.48 meters in diameter) pointing towards the nearest Starlink satellites in space to provide high-speed internet to their home or office. Elon Musk described the user terminal as a “UFO on a stick”.
Stephen T. Jurvetson, SpaceX board director stated that Starlink is the simplest out-of-box, plug-and-play experience imaginable, accessing five Starlink Wi-Fi networks via an iPhone.
Starlink is scheduled to launch in North America later this year, with a phased expansion in 2021 to cover the rest of the world. Satellites are currently capable of service in higher latitude regions such as Seattle and London, subsequently Starlink will expand its coverage to equatorial regions with further launches.
Download speeds will reach a staggering 1 GB/second, lightning fast by today’s standards, with latency ranging from 25 – 35 milliseconds. SpaceX has not stated how much the service will cost.
SpaceX’s Starlink website invites visitors to receive updates on Starlink news and services via their email and area code.
Head on to the Starlink website to register for the beta test, get news updates on Starlink and service availability in your area https://www.starlink.com/