Even though SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service is still in the early stages of beta testing, the number of users is rapidly accelerating.
In a regulatory filing Thursday, the company disclosed the “Better Than Nothing” beta program has already amassed over 10,000 users. It also said its internet speeds have already achieving speeds above the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) standards.
“While its performance is rapidly accelerating in real time as part of its public beta program, the Starlink network has already successfully demonstrated it can surpass the Commission’s “Above Baseline” and “Low Latency” performance tiers, including:
- Meeting and exceeding 100/20 megabits per second (“Mbps”) throughput to individualusers.
- Demonstrating performance of 95% of network round-trip latency measurements at orbelow 31 milliseconds.
- Successfully testing standalone voice service over the Starlink network”
The reason for the regulatory filing was to request being designated as an “Eligible Telecommunications Carrier” (ETC). This would allow it to further expand its service area in the US to include regions in “Alabama, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.” (via CNBC)
SpaceX began its beta program in October 2020 in the US, before expanding to include Canada in November. To become a beta tester, you have to purchase the necessary equipment for $649 CAD ($499 USD), and pay a monthly service fee of $129 CAD ($99 USD).