SpaceX’s Starlink, the groundbreaking satellite internet service, has reached a significant milestone by surpassing 2.3 million active users globally, with 1.3 million users in the United States alone.
The company reported this achievement in its recent update, highlighting the impressive growth from just 250,000 subscribers in March of the previous year. Starlink’s rapid expansion means it is now active on all seven continents and in over 70 countries, with the recent addition of Eswatini, a small land-locked country in southern Africa.
Starlink is connecting more than 2.3M people in over 70 countries, and in many more markets, all around the world 🛰️🌎❤️
— Starlink (@Starlink) December 22, 2023
Of those 2.3 million users, SpaceX recently revealed 1.3 million of those Starlink customers are in the United States, equating to 59% of its total customer base. This information was included in the company’s response to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) denial of funding to expand Starlink in rural areas. SpaceX emphasized Starlink’s ongoing upgrades and rapid user base growth, challenging the FCC’s decision and asserting its role in solving rural broadband challenges at scale.
The company’s trajectory indicates consistent growth, having reached one million users by the end of 2022 and now on pace to potentially exceed 3 million by the end of 2024.
As Starlink’s global reach continues to expand, it has also encountered regulatory challenges, as evidenced by the recent denial of $885.5 million in rural broadband subsidies by the FCC. The decision has prompted dissent from some FCC commissioners and Elon Musk, who argue that Starlink is a key player in addressing rural broadband challenges.
While SpaceX was unsuccessful in its attempt to gain the rural broadband subsidies, the company is set to become a participant in the Affordable Connectivity Program, a US federal subsidy aimed at subsidizing broadband for low-income households.