Elon Musk’s Starlink Internet Satellite Service Has Been Approved In UK
SpaceX’s Starlink internet service has managed to deliver broadband in remote areas of the United States, and the beta version of the surface has now been approved for the UK.
Ofcom has agreed to let SpaceX’s Starlink programme begin offering the company’s public beta to residents of the United Kingdom.
Some lucky users have already begun receiving their kit and will be setting it up to try the broadband that comes from space. However, some may have reservations about the service.
The satellite-based broadband comes at a significant cost. The initial kit to receive broadband costs £439 upfront, with an additional £84 a month for the subscription. This is significantly more than most providers who offer broadband, particularly when the main difference will be that you are receiving the internet from above rather than through fibre below.
However, there is a very specific use case for the Starlink programme. The Starlink offering has previously helped native Americans and given the internet to those who struggle to have a reliable connection. This has already proved to be the case for some early UK adoptors.
Philip Hall, who is based in rural Devon, told Business Insider: ‘Within the hour we ran a Zoom quiz with grandchildren — it was wonderful.’ With this in mind, there is clearly a market for the technology that delivers between 50 Mbps and 150 Mbps, despite the significant cost.
The Starlink project is ambitious, and Musk has spoken about his intention to deliver broadband across the world by using 42,000 satellites. While this may seem like a wild ambition of one of the richest people in the world, there is competition in this market with similar goals. The UK-based company OneWeb also wants to deliver internet through orbiting satellites, and the company wants to launch 48,000 in the coming years.
The number of satellites may worry some, as eventually they will return and pollute the earth. Nonetheless, looking at the immediate future, many people in rural parts of the UK will be excited at the prospect of having a better internet connection.
It is not only the UK which is getting the beta rollout, it has also been confirmed that governing bodies in Greece, Germany and Australia have already approved the service. With this in mind, the Starlink service may have consumers across the globe soon.
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