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

Elon Musk space axel springer award

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The 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

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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

One chart shows how Elon Musk's Twitter is a huge wealth creator

Summary List PlacementElon Musk, the world’s second-richest man, also has the golden touch when it comes to Twitter.
A two-word tweet from Musk about Signal, the encrypted messaging app, boosted the stock of the unrelated company Signal Advance by nearly 7,000%. And since he put #bitcoin in his Twitter profile at 3:00 am ET on Friday, when the crpyptocurrency was at $33,000, it has topped $38,000.
His prolific tweeting has gotten him in trouble before. In the fall of 2018, he issued a statement on the platform suggesting that he taking Tesla private and that he had “funding secured,” and was slapped with a $20 million fine when no such event was in the works.
Musk later tweeted that the post was “worth” the fine, and his Twitter finger hasn’t been deterred since. Investors in everything from dogecoin to GameStop have reaped the benefits.
While correlation isn’t necessarily causation, Insider’s chart below looks at how four well-timed Musk tweets have coincided with rising values for the companies GameStop and Signal Advance, as well as the crytpocurrencies dogecoin and bitcoin.

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Dogecoin

One word: Doge — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 20, 2020

 
Musk posted the above three-word tweet at 4:30 am ET on December 20. Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency that began as a joke on Reddit, surged by 17.95% the following day. He also tweeted an image of “Dogue” magazine on January 28. 
Musk said in a January 31 interview on Clubhouse that his tweets about Dogecoin are “really just meant to be jokes.” But the market takes them seriously.
Signal Advance

Use Signal — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2021

 
After WhatsApp told users in early January that they would have to agree to let Facebook and its subsidiaries collect WhatsApp data, Musk promoted Signal, a competing encrypted messaging app, on Twitter.
Signal’s downloads spiked by 4,200% following the announcement and the tweet, but there was another beneficiary. Shares for Signal Advance, a tech penny stock, soared nearly 7,000% in the day following Musk’s tweet. 
GameStop

Gamestonk!! https://t.co/RZtkDzAewJ — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 26, 2021

 
GameStop stock surged by more than 60% in after-hours trading on January 26, after Musk tweeted “Gamestonk!!” with a link to the “wallstreetbets” Reddit forum. In the next day’s trading session, the stock skyrocketed by 348%. 
Musk has become a key figure in the Reddit short-squeeze drama, questioning Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev on Clubhouse about why the platform had stopped users from buying GameStop and other viral stocks last week.
Bitcoin

Musk added the #bitcoin hashtag to his Twitter profile early Friday morning, tweeting at 3:22 am ET, “In retrospect, it was inevitable.” Bitcoin price topped $37,700 by 8:00 am that day — a 17% boost in five hours — and ended at 4% within 24 hours.
That boost was short-lived, but Musk later repped Bitcoin again on Clubhouse, saying “Bitcoin is a good thing” on the evening of January 31. Bitcoin broke $38,000 the next day.SEE ALSO: Russia may fine citizens for using SpaceX’s Starlink internet. Here’s how Elon Musk’s service poses a threat to authoritarian regimes.
SEE ALSO: SpaceX is being investigated by the Department of Justice over alleged hiring discrimination
SEE ALSO: 11 things Elon Musk said Tesla would accomplish in 2020, and how those promises panned out
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