Elon Musk says Starlink internet speeds will double to 300 Mbps this year


Image: SpaceX

Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite-based internet provider, will double in speed “later this year”, according to a tweet by Elon Musk, posted as a reply to someone who had just received their Starlink beta kit (via CNET). The company currently promises speeds between 50 to 150 Mbps, and Musk specifically calls out a 300 Mbps goal in his tweet.

While 300 Mbps isn’t unheard-of speed, it’s faster than many people currently have access to, especially in the low-to-medium population density areas that Musk talks about targeting in a second tweet.

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Elon Musk's Starlink internet satellite service has been approved in the UK, and people are already receiving their beta kits

Summary List PlacementThe UK has given the green light to SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service, and users in the country have already begun receiving their kit for the company’s public beta.
Ofcom granted Elon Musk’s aerospace company authorization for Starlink in November, a spokesman for the regulator told Insider Monday. The company began running a Starlink beta in the US in late 2020.
The UK license allows Starlink to compete against terrestrial internet providers, such as BT Group, and traditional satellite companies such as OneWeb, which was rescued from bankruptcy by the British government and India’s telecoms firm Bharti Global in November.
People in the UK who signed up for SpaceX’s “Better Than Nothing Beta” test have started receiving the Starlink kit, which costs £439 ($591) up front, plus £84 ($120) for the monthly subscription.
Philip Hall, based in rural Devon, south-west England, confirmed to Insider on Friday that he received the Wifi router and terminal to connect to the satellites on New Year’s Eve.
Beforehand, Hall was getting download speeds of only 0.5 megabits per second (Mbps) with BT internet, he said. Now with Starlink, he’s averaging 85 Mbps. “Within the hour we ran a Zoom quiz with grandchildren — it was wonderful,” he said.
SpaceX said in an email to subscribers on October 26 that users participating in the “Better Than Nothing Beta” test could expect speeds of between 50 Mbps and 150 Mbps. Some US users say they’re already getting download speeds of more than 210 Mbps.
Musk’s ultimate goal for Starlink is to deliver superfast broadband around the world by enveloping the Earth with up to 42,000 satellites. Starlink is part of the billionaire’s aerospace company, SpaceX, which has so far blasted at least 830 working Starlink satellites into orbit.
Read more: Here’s how many millions of users Starlink may need to break even if it loses $2,000 for every satellite dish it sells, according to experts
UK-based OneWeb planned to launch 650 satellites into orbit by the end of 2020, according to a December mission briefing. The space firm wants to eventually provide global internet coverage with up to 48,000 satellites — 6,000 more than what SpaceX plans for its Starlink constellation.
Starlink started testing its beta service in North America and southern Canada in 2020. The UK isn’t the only major market that SpaceX is entering: Greece, Germany and Australia have also approved Musk’s broadband service, according to reports.SEE ALSO: Europe wants to build its own version of SpaceX’s Starlink with a $7.3 billion constellation of internet satellites
SEE ALSO: SpaceX has darkened its Starlink internet satellites with visors to avoid disrupting the night sky — but they can still ruin astronomers’ data
SEE ALSO: SpaceX’s Starlink satellite-internet service provides rapid speeds of 175 Mbps in freezing temperatures, high winds, and deep snow, users report
Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: What candy corn is actually made of

What Starlink beta testers really think about Elon Musk’s satellite internet

For people otherwise stuck with sluggish performance from earlier satellite technologies or DSL, Starlink looks like a promising way to get up to speed.
In less than a year, Elon Musk’s space startup SpaceX has gone from having launched 242 Starlink satellites to exceeding 1,000 as it builds its constellation of satellites dedicated to providing broadband internet access back on Earth, particularly for people who might lack other good options.Read Full Story

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