SpaceX has been quick to expand its Starlink satellite internet service, which is now available in 40 countries on all 7 continents after it recently expanded to Antarctica last week.
However even with such expansive coverage, it is still only available in the lower latitudes in Canada, leaving about 70% of the country unable to connect to Starlink.
That should change soon according to Elon Musk, who said over the weekend that Starlink should expand to cover all of Canada by the end of the year.
This timeline is slightly ahead of what Starlink’s website, which says the service will be available in the northern parts of the country in Q1 2023.
According to Musk, this massive expansion will be accomplished when the company activates the laser links on its satellites in polar orbit.
It will be later this year when laser links activate on polar constellation
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 17, 2022
These laser links are the same laser links that allowed SpaceX to provide Starlink service to the National Science Foundation’s McMurdo Station on the coast of Antarctica.
The lasers enable high-speed connections between distant satellites. How distant? According to satellitemap.space, there are currently no more than a few handful of satellites over Antarctica, yet the company is still able to provide a stable high-speed connection to McMurdo Station.
This is in stark contrast to the more than 3,000 satellites in orbit around the rest of the world, as you can see in the image below.
When it expands to the rest of Canada later this year, customers will have to pay $759 for the Starlink hardware, and $140 per month for the subscription.
Based on speed test conducted by Ookla, median Starlink download speeds in Canada increased 58% since last year, going from from 61.84Mbps to 97.40Mbps. Conversely, median upload speed decreased by 23% in Canada, going from 16.69Mbps down to 10.70Mbps.