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UK customers start to test SpaceX Starlink internet services

by Mark Tyson on 5 January 2021, 12:11

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaepy2

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SpaceX’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite broadband service, Starlink, started to send out beta invites to selected trial applicants in the UK a few weeks ago. On New Year's day one user, in rural Devon, shared images of the boxed up Starlink equipment he had just received. At the time of writing the user had yet to provide any Starlink usage feedback due to being busy with festivities but with the new UK lockdown I guess they might find some spare time in the coming days.

To recap the Starlink offering, it is advertised as providing "high speed internet access across the globe." The LEO array is claimed to deliver "performance that far surpasses that of traditional satellite internet," and be a godsend to people in locations poorly served, or unable to connect to, current wired or wireless superfast broadband services. Starlink is accelerating rollout quickly and expects to provide near global coverage of the populated world by the end of 2021.

In the UK a redditor called OptiSport shared an image of his Starlink starter pack on New Year's day. The redditor lives in rural Devon, at 50.8N and complained that despite various previously touted rollouts of fibre, there appeared to be no short to medium term plans to cover his address. Currently OptiSport and family have to pay for and endure a 0.5Mbps BT Open Reach service. Putting this 'speed' into perspective it is a sixth as fast as the minimum recommended broadband connection speed for viewing Netflix SD.

ISPReview has cast its beady eyes on the news of the Starlink rollout to UK dwellers and has some interesting facts about the service and its pricing. It says that to get up and running as part of the 'Better Than Nothing Beta' UK folk have to stump up £439 for the hardware, £54 for shipping, and then ay £89pcm for the service. Service is expected to provide 50-150Mbps downloads. Users of the beta service should expect brief periods of no connectivity...

Service coverage and connectivity looks set to improve dramatically. Currently SpaceX has 960 LEOs in orbit providing internet service which naturally has some gaps as it intends to deploy 4,425 LEOs by 2024. It might roll out up to 12,000 satellites at a later date – I guess that depends upon the service's success with customers.

Are any HEXUS users part of the Starlink beta or looking to sign up?



HEXUS Forums :: 20 Comments

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Users of the beta service should expect brief periods of no connectivity…

Guess waiting for the next satellite to come around :)
The satellites look amazing, Krypton ion thrusters sound like something yanked straight out of science fiction.
virtuo
The satellites look amazing, Krypton ion thrusters sound like something yanked straight out of science fiction.

They look distinctly unamazing when you're trying to see stars. You expect a few satellites being visible in a dark sky area but this is getting silly. They say they are going to improve each generation but that is still a thousand or so of the things.

Whilst I'm grumping, I do not believe beta tests should be paid for. If someone asks for me to test a product and provide feedback, I have never had to pay for it as I am providing the service to them. Odds are anyone who wants this will have to pay for their existing internet solution on top anyway if they need any kind of QOS.

I'm quite grumpy today.
philehidiot
They look distinctly unamazing when you're trying to see stars. You expect a few satellites being visible in a dark sky area but this is getting silly. They say they are going to improve each generation but that is still a thousand or so of the things.

Whilst I'm grumping, I do not believe beta tests should be paid for. If someone asks for me to test a product and provide feedback, I have never had to pay for it as I am providing the service to them. Odds are anyone who wants this will have to pay for their existing internet solution on top anyway if they need any kind of QOS.

I'm quite grumpy today.

Just think in a few months the pubs'll be open again.

I take your point about more space junk cluttering up the night sky, but from a technical perspective, they are still impressive. At least they are small and designed to de-orbit once they have reached EOL.
100 watts power consumption per ground antenna :eek: == roughly between £10 to £12 per month electric cost.