SpaceX and its Starlink low earth orbit satellite internet service is currently signing users up for its upcoming beta, and to date it has seen “extraordinary demand.”
According to a new FCC filing seen by Tesmanian (via Tesla North), SpaceX recently asked the FCC in the United States to bump up the number of authorized terminals it can deploy for customers to receive internet.
Currently at 1 million, SpaceX wants a “modification of its blanket earth station license (call sign E190066) solely to increase the number of authorized units from 1,000,000 to 5,000,000,” reads the FCC filing, a five times increase for users in the U.S.
“SpaceX Services requests this increase in authorized units due to the extraordinary demand for access to the Starlink non-geostationary orbit satellite system,” the company adds, revealing close to 700,000 individuals across all 50 U.S. states have registered to become beta testers for the service.
While SpaceX noted its numbers of U.S. customers interested in Starlink, there’s no number on the number of Canadians that have registered for the upcoming internet beta trials.
Last month, a leak on the Starlink website revealed the beta period would be free, with testers gaining access to company hardware to access Internet by mounting hardware at their property. For rural Canadians, Starlink satellite internet offers an alternative to existing options which are expensive and also have slow speeds. SpaceX applied for a telecom license with the CRTC back in May, backed by numerous comments of support from Canadians.
SpaceX said it needs at least 800 low earth satellites in orbit to offer internet to customers in the United States and Canada, first starting in those in high latitudes.