Home » Elon Musk wants to sell you internet access from space

Elon Musk wants to sell you internet access from space

by Kurt Knutsson

When he said he’ll invent the first cool electric car, few believed Elon Musk could do it.

When he said he could privatize NASA by creating SpaceX, the deniers were as skeptical.

Today, Tesla is the highest valued car company. SpaceX launches missions at the fraction of the cost of NASA while employing reusable rockets that return and land themselves.

Now, Musk is disrupting the high speed Internet service market from the sky with a venture called Starlink.

Satellite

Starlink has launched 1,800 satellites so far in his effort to create a blanket of Internet connected satellites beaming high speed internet to earth.

This will be outstanding news for people in rural areas where there is no fiber or cable connecting high speed internet. Starlink is gaining on competitors HughesNet and ViaSat in North America but still needs to launch more than 10,000 satellites before it can provide service globally – north and south poles excluded.

While concerns about thousands of satellites StarLink is adding to the orbit could litter space, Musk says he wants as many as 42,000 satellites to improve coverage, speed and reliability.

Starlink prices:

  • $500 for satellite receiver router and dish to start.
  • $99 per month for service

Don’t expect super high speeds during heavy snowfall or any major weather that could block the path between your satellite dish and Starlink satellite constellation.

Currently, Starlink says it has shipped 100,000 StarLink receivers and dishes beginning with its beta service which has had some growing pains and outages.

Starlink App

The Starlink app for both Android and iOS helps guide how to pick the best location for self-installing the dish to get the best reception.

Fast – but not faster than cable or fiber

Speeds ranges between 50 and 150 megabits per second and orders are being filled on a first come, first serve basis. There’s also a possibility that phone service could be added to the service at some point in Starlink’s future based on an FCC application it filed.

Satellite

It turns out the FCC is shelling out $885.5 million in federal funding for Starlink’s growth from winning support from the 2020 Rural Digital Opportunity fund. Starlink spending much of that as a customer of SpaceX to launch satellites. That brings Musk’s federal funding to $5 billion in total for his ventures including Tesla and SpaceX.

Elon Musk And Space Ship

Another billionaire is getting in the low-orbit space internet game. Jeff Bezos and Amazon’s Project Kuiper plans to invest $10 billion and launch its first two satellites later in 2022 behind schedule with a lot of catching up to do to compete with Musk.

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