Starlink is an internet service, powered by a constellation of low-earth orbit satellites. Given their lower orbit at 550 km above Earth (compared to traditional satellite up about 35,000 km), Starlink brings faster download speeds and lower latency, opening up video conferencing, online gaming and 4K video streaming.
The satellite internet service is targeting rural areas right now with its ongoing beta, available to users in the U.S., Canada and the UK.
With rural Canadians paying for some of the most expensive internet and ridiculously slow download speeds, Starlink is a gift from the heavens.
One Bell customer emphatically expressed their excitement with their recent Starlink order confirmation, by saying, “just preordered Starlink for my family and I: Bell Canada can now s*ck my nuts.”
The Reddit thread then snowballed into other rural internet users, sharing what they’re paying for and the speeds received. Here’s a collection of comments below:
- “Disconnected my DSL last week, felt so good not giving them 83$/mo for 6/1 speeds.”
- “I get 100kbps with Hughesnet”
- “I feel that 😬, I’m paying $100 a month for 2.5mbs down…”
- “We pay $85 a month for 1Mbps. I hope our Starlink will work for us. Just preordered it yesterday.”
- “I pay about $100 a month for Xplorenet and half the time the downloads would be less than a Mbps until a few months ago now I get 4mbps it’s a joke”
- “9 down 1 up for $90/month here, fixed wireless. Put my deposit for Starlink down yesterday.”
- “$83? That’s almost free. We sit at 4-9down 0.5up for $119/mo. Better believe I’m tossing Elon than extra $10 a month.”
- “I can’t wait to say this to Bell and their pathetic 8mbps that I’m getting”
- “When will Starlink get to North Canada especially Nunavut. Internet service is the greatest enemy here.”
- “Ordered mine as well! So happy to stick it to Bell, Rogers and Telus. The revolution is coming!”
- “Got my pre-order in on the first day. Tired of subsidizing Fiber and by paying Aliant $80 a month for 4/0.6. I should be paying about $3 a month for what I’m getting. Robbery! Starlink can’t come too soon.”
Starlink pricing for Canadians is as follows:
- $649 CAD: one-time charge for hardware (router, satellite dish, mounting hardware)
- $129 CAD: monthly service charge (it’s $99 USD in the U.S.)
As for averages speeds, downloads are at about 150 Mbps download and upload at 25 Mbps, give or take. Elon Musk has said the company plans to charge the same price everywhere for Starlink.
Starlink has no bandwidth limit and the system benefits from over-the-air software updates. SpaceX recently sent out an update to increase the heating element of the Starlink dish, to melt snow better.
Canada’s $600 Million Investment into Ottawa-based Telesat Still Years Away
Last November, the government of Canada announced it had signed a $600 million CAD deal with Ottawa-based Telesat, for the latter’s own low-earth orbit satellite internet to serve rural Canadians. Maybe that money should have gone to SpaceX and Starlink instead.
Telesat announced this week it signed with French-Italian space hardware maker, Thales Alenia Space, to build 298 internet satellites, set to however at 1,000 km above Earth, almost twice the height of Starlink satellites.
The Telesat Lightspeed program won’t launch its first satellite until 2023, sent to space by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and the latter’s New Glenn rocket.
If we count 24 months from now, SpaceX would have theoretically launched another 2,880 Starlink satellites into orbit, at the company’s launch rate of 120 satellites sent into space each month (each launch sends 60 satellites up at a time).
It’s clear traditional internet service providers are taking notice of the rise of Starlink. Recently, Bell announced it was set to fast-track its broadband fibre and wireless network rollout, by spending $1 billion.