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Starlink: Here are all your questions answered about Elon Musk’s high-speed internet service

Starlink

When you hear the name Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur, there are increased chances for you to think of the futuristic electric car company Tesla or the space exploration venture SpaceX. He is also the second person in the world with a high net worth of $156.9 billion next to Jeff Bezos. In recent times, Musk is in the headlines for his new venture called Starlink.

This service seeks to provide internet connections to almost all by growing a network of private satellites that will be orbiting overhead. After three years of successful launches, in January this year, it was disclosed that the project of providing internet access to almost everyone surpassed 1,000 satellites delivered into orbit. In February, it was announced that Starlink serves over 10,000 customers.

Now, it is expanding to more users and pre-orders for the same are open. Currently, it prioritises people living in areas where there is no access to high-speed internet. Given that it is open for potential customers to pre-order, here we have all the details that we know so far about Starlink.

What is Starlink?

Starlink is a division of SpaceX and the name of the company’s growing network or constellation of orbital satellites. Its development dates back to 2015 and the first prototype of satellites were launched into orbit back in 2018. Since then, SpaceX deployed several thousands of Starlink satellites into orbit.

Similar to the other satellite internet service providers, Starlink wants to provide internet access to people in rural and other parts where there is no access to high-speed internet.

How fast is Starlink internet?

As per the official website, Starlink users can expect to witness data speeds from 50Mbps to 150Mbps and latency from 20ms to 40ms in most locations in the coming months. It also warns brief periods of no connectivity. The data speed, latency and uptime will be improved with improvements made to its networking software and the launch of more satellites.

In February 2021, Musk tweeted that the service could double its top speeds to 300Mbps by the end of this year. To be specific, in the UK, it is believed to deliver download speeds up to 50Mbps to 150Mbps and upload speeds of up 20Mbps. It should get better as the availability of the network widens in the coming months.

Previously, SpaceX claimed that download speeds will reach 1Gbps with a latency ranging between 25 and 35 milliseconds. Notably, this is much faster than what the tests have shown in the past.

If the Starlink satellite internet service delivers high-speed internet at up to 1Gbps, then entrepreneurs in the UK should opt for it once it is widely rolled out. This way, their connectivity requirements will be met without having to spend too much on it.

Starlink cost in the UK

While the service was initially available in the US, Canada, and parts of the UK and is extending into Europe. Following the UK, users in South England might get it. However, it is still in the beta phase and early pre-order phase. In the UK, customers have to pay £89 per month for the service and £54 for shipping, and £349 for the dish, router, and the entire kit.

How to sign up for Starlink in the UK

If you want to take up Starlink internet service in the UK, then you need to follow the below-mentioned steps to sign up for it.

Firstly, go to Starlink.com. It will let you know if satellite internet service is available in your area. If not, the company will tell you when Starlink will be available in your area. Mostly, it will take months.

Currently, Starlink serves over 10,000 users but hundreds of thousands of people have signed up in the hopes of trying it out. Requests will be handled on a first-come, first-serve basis. To reserve a spot, you should place a refundable deposit through the Starlink website’s pre-order function.

To get the connection, you need to set up a small satellite dish at your home to receive the signal. Later, you should pass the bandwidth on to the router. There’s even a Starlink app for Android and iOS. It uses augmented reality to help customers choose the best position for their receivers.