When Will Starlink Internet Be Available?

With 833 operational satellites, Starlink’s satellite internet service could launch in late 2020 in some rural areas.

 

 

When to sign up for Starlink

The public beta began on October 26, 2020, in select areas of the United States. Starlink isn’t promising the fastest speeds or even consistent service to people trying out the beta—Starlink has called this the “Better Than Nothing Beta.” But as more Starlink satellites are launched and fill in the gaps in the satellite constellation, better service is expected.

Prospective beta testers were told to expect periodic outages and speeds between 50 to 150 Mbps, with latency around 20 to 40 ms. Service costs $99 per month, plus a one-time equipment fee of $499. You can sign up for email updates about Starlink availability on the Starlink website. 

As the satellite system is built out over the next few years, Starlink’s satellite internet service will expand availability throughout the world. In early October of 2020, Elon Musk stated that SpaceX has launched enough Starlink satellites to support a “fairly wide public beta” in Canada and the northern United States.13 During the October 24, 2020 launch, lead Starlink manufacturing engineer Jessie Anderson reminded viewers that the satellite service is still in its early stages, although she also brought attention to Starlink’s new pilot program in rural Texas (Ector County Independent School District), which will bring free internet access to students in 2021.

Can’t wait for Starlink? Check internet providers near you.

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DateMission name# of satellites# of total operational satellites
February 22, 2018Tintin2 (test)0
May 24, 2019v0.960 (test)0 (most deorbited)
November 11, 2019v1.06060
January 7, 2020V1.0 L260120
January 29, 2020V1.0 L360180
February 17, 2020V1.0 L460240
March 18, 2020V1.0 L560300
April 22, 2020V1.0 L660360
June 4, 2020V1.0 L760420
June 13, 2020V1.0 L858478
August 7, 2020V1.0 L957535
August 18, 2020V1.0 L1058593
September 3, 2020V1.0 L1160653
October 6, 2020V1.0 L1260713
October 18, 2020v1.0 L1360773
October 24, 2020v1.0 L1460833

“Starlink will be among the fastest options available to transfer data around the world.” 

Kate Tice, SpaceX Senior Program Reliability Engineer

At least some of the satellites have the capability to share data with each other via space lasers. In September 2020, two satellites successfully used this feature. As more Starlink satellites begin using “space lasers” to transfer data with each other, speeds and latency are expected to continue to improve.

Comparing satellite internet providers

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ProviderDownload speedsLatencyData capPriceGet it
StarlinkUp to 100 Mbps†40 ms†Unlimited†$99.00/mo.†Learn more
Viasat12–100 Mbps594–624 ms12 GB/mo.–150 GB/mo.$30.00–$150.00/mo.*View plans
HughesNetUp to 25 Mbps594–624 ms10 GB/mo.–50 GB/mo.$59.99–$150.00/mo.*View plans

*With paperless billing and autopay discount. Data as of 9/24/2020. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

† Starlink speed, pricing, data, and latency numbers are based on public beta information available 10/26/2020. Actual data may vary when Starlink service is officially launched.

Final take: Watch for Starlink—it’ll be worth it

Although there isn’t a definitive date on Starlink availability, it’s a sure bet that Starlink satellite internet service will be available in waves, with some areas getting access earlier than others. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk stated that the company plans to deliver “near-global coverage of the populated world in 2021.”1

People who live in the northern United States and lower Canada will be first to get access to Starlink broadband internet—they could sign up as soon as late 2020. The first people to get access to Starlink will be those who live between 44 and 52 degrees north latitude.

Later, as the Starlink constellation is filled out, Starlink will be available across the globe. Check back for updates on when Starlink will be available and how to sign up.

FAQ about Starlink availability

When will Starlink be available?

Starlink is currently undergoing public beta in select parts of the northern US. Later this year, Starlink may expand service to additional customers in the northern United States and lower Canada. In early 2021, service will be available to customers in the southern United States and will eventually roll out to include most of the populated world.

Where can I get Starlink internet?

Starlink satellite internet is currently undergoing beta testing in parts of the US and Canada to people who live between 44 and 52 degrees latitude. Once it’s available, you will be able to get Starlink internet in rural and underserved areas of the world. It’s not designed for dense population centers like major cities, but it will be a new option for rural areas of the world, including Tribal lands in the US. 

How fast is Starlink internet?

Starlink tracked download speeds upward of 100 Mbps in initial beta testing results reported by SpaceX in early September 2020.5,6 Starlink internet will have faster speeds and lower latency than typical satellite internet from Viasat or HughesNet. And by the time the Starlink satellite network is fully built out, even faster speeds will be possible.

Sources

  1. Sheets, Michael, CNBC, “SpaceX Says Starlink Internet Has ‘Extraordinary Demand,’ with Nearly 700,000 Interested in Service,” August 2020. Accessed September 2, 2020.
  2. Sheetz, Michael, CNBC, “SpaceX Wants to Land Starship on the Moon within Three Years, President Says, with People Soon After,” October 2019. Accessed September 1, 2020.
  3. Malik, Tariq, “SpaceX Delays Next Starlink Satellite Fleet Launch Due to Rocket ‘Recovery Issue’,” September 2020, Accessed September 18, 2020.
  4. SpaceX.com, “September 3, 2020 Starlink Mission Launch,” streamed live on September 3, 2020. Accessed September 3, 2020.
  5. Etherington, Darrell, TechCrunch, “Elon Musk Says Starlink Internet Private Beta to Begin in Roughly Three Months, Public Beta in Six,” April 2020. Accessed September 2, 2020.
  6. Kan, Michael, PCMag, “How Fast Is SpaceX’s Satellite Internet? Beta Tests Show it Hitting Up to 60 Mbps,” August 2020. Accessed September 2, 2020. 
  7. Mack, Erik, CNET, “Latest SpaceX Starlink Satellite Launch Sets Another Flight Record”, August 2020. Accessed September 2, 2020.
  8. Clark, Stephen, “Live coverage: SpaceX launches another 60 Starlink satellites,” September 2020. Accessed September 18, 2020.
  9. Wall, Mike, “SpaceX Just Launched a Fleet of Starlink Satellites. Here’s How to Spot Them in the Sky,” September 2020. Accessed September 18, 2020.
  10. Satellite Calculations, “Geostationary Satellite Positions List,” September 2020. Accessed September 18, 2020.
  11. Wattles, Jackie, “Here’s what you need to know about SpaceX’s Starlink internet service,” October 2019. Accessed September 18, 2020.
  12. Goldman, David, “SpaceX Degani Ex Parte,” September 4, 2020. Accessed September 24, 2020.
  13. Hamilton, Isobel Asher “Elon Musk Says Starlink Now Has Enough Satellites in Orbit to Launch a Public Beta of Its High-Speed Internet Service,” October 2020. Accessed October 14, 2020.
  14. Ralph, Eric, “SpaceX Starlink ‘Space Lasers’ Successfully Tested in Orbit for the First Time,” September 2020. Accessed October 14, 2020.
  15. Grush, Loren, “SpaceX Begins Public Beta Testing of Starlink Constellation at $99 a Month,” October 2020. Accessed October 27, 2020.
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