Starlink satellite broadband passes 100k users worldwide, hundreds in Australia

Satellite dish

Starlink’s satellite broadband service, owned and operated by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, has passed 100,000 customers worldwide, with more than 400 in Australia despite availability being limited to a region-specific beta phase.

Currently limited to southern New South Wales and northern Victoria, Starlink was recently granted two licenses that allow it to sell its services Australia-wide. That being said, Starlink is targeted towards users in rural and remote areas, where wired connections are inefficient or unreliable.

The beta stage has seen speeds ranging between 50mbps and 150mbps, extremely high for satellite internet. It’s low latency at 20-40ms is also an impressive feat for satellite broadband.

The service can be expensive to get up and running, with more traditional satellite internet potentially more affordable if speed and latency aren’t a priority. The hardware fees to get started are around $709, while Starlink currently only offers the one plan at $139 for unlimited data.

Satellite NBN ranges from around $40p/m all the way up to $200p/m, so finding the right plan to fit your needs can involve a bit of searching.

Furthering the company’s reach across south-eastern Australia is targeted in the next stage of the Starlink rollout in the country, with a number of ground stations ready for operation. Starlink will then shift towards making South Australians eligible for the network.

What is Starlink satellite internet?

Starlink is a growing system of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites launched by SpaceX to provide worldwide broadband coverage. There are currently around 1,750 Starlink satellites in orbit, with the company’s broadband internet available in 14 countries through a beta stage.

The reason that Starlink uses LEO satellites, which are more than 60 times closer to Earth than traditional satellites, is to reduce latency issues which regular satellite internet can at times struggle with. The company claims this reduction in latency should allow its customers to access video calls and online gaming.

Starlink launched in Australia and New Zealand back in April 2021, and now features around 400 Australian customers. There’s a large backlog of customers waiting for hardware, so it’s likely there are a number of Aussies still waiting to get their Starlink service up and running in the near future.

Despite having 100,000 active customers, Starlink claims its orders have already surpassed half a million.

A report in the US found that customers have experienced average speeds between 40-93mbps, with upload speeds around the 20mbps mark. Elon Musk claimed earlier this year that Starlink speeds would jump to around 300mbps with latency dropping to 20ms later this year, although it’s currently unclear how, or if, the company will meet these goals.

Head to our broadband hub to find and compare providers and plans in your area, or check out some popular satellite NBN plans below.

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Last updated 22 July 2024