This is your official invitation to participate in Starlink’s Better Than Nothing Beta program! This invitation expires on Dec. 25, 2020.
Expect data speeds to vary from 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s and latency from 20ms to 40ms over the next several months. 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.
The Starlink phased-array user terminal, which is more advanced than what’s in fighter jets, plus mounting tripod and wifi router, costs $499 and the monthly subscription costs $99.
If this sounds good to you, [ order now ]
Love the name of the beta. We’re very fortunate where we live to already get 1.5 Gbps so not in the market for this. I do very like the idea of it very much though, as lots of place to live in the middle of nowhere, and this thing giving fast internet everywhere appeals to me.
Retire to that cabin in the woods, and by the time they roll out properly it’ll be up to 500 Mb/s with just 16 ms latency, which is doable.
As soon as it is available here in Texas, I plan on jumping on this. My 25Mbps connection, while 5 times faster than it used to be, is still pretty slow. I’m paying over $100 a month for that, so Starlink will be a no brainer for me.
So much space debris though. I heard Terry Virts talking about this the other day. It’s going to get really bad when all this space junk starts colliding with other space junk and exponentially creating a cloud of space junk that nobody can travel through.
I hope it’ll be ok, and it was something considered by the FTC before they approved this stuff. Space is very big and they are quite small and very low orbits that are quite draggy.
They deorbit ok and burn up to dust, and they’ve tested that already with deliberate deburns. If Starlink disappeared today by about 3 years all the existing sats would fall and be gone to nothing. They actually have to boost them to keep them up, as they are in such a low orbit (hence the latency being better than old marine satellite systems etc).
The mesh eventually would have a max of about 42,000 satellites, and it sounds a lot, but picture 42,000 shoe boxes spread out over the entire surface of the Earth (or 7,800 boxes across the width of the continental US) and then think of the gaps between them.
I’m not saying there is no issue, just that the numbers and scales aren’t intuitive, and the benefits might be worth it.
Space is big. I only frequent the thin band that is navigable with our air breathing machines…and even that seems enormously big…even with the density we fill it with. Like you said…I’m sure there are issues, but hopefully they are being considered (short period decaying orbits seem to be the solution)…
A car roof would actually be a good fit. The Amazon Ka-band is good for 400 Mpbs and is very flat and about 12’ wide.
We just need antenna hats, and we’re about 14% way onto Cyberpunk anyway - the answer is always fashion!
In the more remote places in Northern Canada I think there’s a plan to plonk down a Starlink box and then put it with a 5G transmitter all as a small unit, so that way the town gets decent phone internet for everyone without any infrastructure needed.
These are relatively low altitude, well below the international spacestation. If they don’t do active station-keeping (which I can imagine they can do for decades with those ion drives) they will fall out of the sky within a decade, I’m sure.
A decade of space debris is not very pleasant but not an insurmountable problem either, in my opinion.
@Troll, I’m thinking this is not going to work for us denizens of the high latitudes. As it stands now, my TV sat dish looks like it is pointing about 5º to 10º down for a geostationary satellite out there at 37,000 km orbit. (I do metric now.)
I don’t think they have plans for above 50°, unfortunately…
Edit. Getting into polar orbits is harder than equatorial, and the people density in the polar regions probably won’t be sufficient for them to establish coverage.