SpaceX wrote in a filing to the FCC: Starlink’s service performance is neither theoretical nor experimental, and is accelerating rapidly in real time as part of its public beta program.
The company launched a public trial program of Starlink service in October, with a subscription price of $ 99 per month, plus an upfront cost of $ 499 for ordering Starlink equipment, which includes a user terminal and wireless router to connect to the satellite.
The company offers service to select clients in the northern United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
The Starlink service is SpaceX’s ambitious project to build an interconnected Internet with thousands of satellites designed to deliver high-speed internet to consumers anywhere on the planet.
Two years ago, the Federal Communications Commission approved the launch of SpaceX of up to 11,943 satellites, as the company aims to place 4,425 satellites into orbit by 2024.
In the filing, SpaceX indicated that the service meets and exceeds the speed of 100 megabits per second for individual users, while the vast majority of users see a response time of less than 31 milliseconds.
The update to the Starlink customer base came in a petition to the Federal Communications Commission, with SpaceX required to designate the Starlink service as a qualified telecommunications operator or ETC.
The company indicated that obtaining this rating is necessary for Starlink to provide service to regions in Alabama, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
SpaceX was granted access to those areas under the Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Digital Opportunities Fund, an auction to bring broadband services to rural areas.
In December, the Federal Communications Commission awarded SpaceX nearly $ 900 million in federal subsidies in the first phase of the auction.
“Designating Starlink as a qualified telecom operator is in the public interest because it allows it to receive support that facilitates the rapid deployment of broadband to service areas at speeds comparable to terrestrial systems in urban locations,” SpaceX writes.
She added: Starlink service requests that the committee grant this petition by June 7, 2021 in order for the service to meet the committee’s deadline to appoint a qualified telecom operator for the purposes of receiving support for the Rural Digital Opportunities Fund.
The rapid growth of Starlink users is remarkable, given that the service has been running through a public beta for just over three months.
Customer demand was high before Starlink began offering early access, and in July the company said it had received interest in service from nearly 700,000 individuals across the United States.
The interest of these individuals came during the first two months of SpaceX providing potential customers with the opportunity to register via the company’s website for updates on service availability.