SpaceX is not slowing down in the pursuit of making fast reliable internet accessible as many people as possible as the company began the testing of its satellite broadband service in the U.K. after getting a license from U.K. telecoms regulator Ofcom.
Starlink was issued with an “Earth station network licence” in November, an Ofcom spokesperson disclosed. However, SpaceX is yet to put out any comment.
The £200 ($272) a year license, called “Earth station network licence,” was issued in November, allowing Starlink to sell satellite dishes and other communications equipment in the United Kingdom, which will enable people pick up signals emitted by the company’s network of satellites.
The founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk, recently became the richest person in the world and he has continued to state his commitment to improving internet access in parts of the globe that have been seemingly neglected by broadband service providers. He has declared his plans to put thousands of small telecoms satellites into low-Earth orbit, beaming high-speed, low-latency internet to the ground.
Musk stated in an interview in March that SpaceX could make up to $30 billion a year by providing broadband. “Starlink will be helpful to telcos because Starlink will serve the hardest to serve customers,” Elon Musk said, adding that 5G might not be particularly ideal for the countryside because “you need range.”
Starlink aims to have 1,440 of its 260 kg (570 lb) satellites in orbit by late 2021, with the company primarily focusing on connecting rural areas where internet is unreliable or not available.
The broadband provider has extended its service to the UK, inviting people via email. The company is reportedly charging its customers in the United Kingdom £439 for the satellite dish and other communication equipment, as well as an £89 monthly fee and a £54 shipping fee.
SpaceX already has an entity in London called Starlink Internet Services, according to a document filed on U.K. companies’ registry Companies House. The company’s service is already enjoying rave reviews from users.
“As an enthusiast with no prospect of fibre (broadband) in the near term, I enrolled on the beta quite early,” Philip Hall, a resident of rural Devon, southeast England said. “The tech capability in this, at consumer level, is astonishing.”
Starlink is also reported to have gotten approvals from regulators in Greece, Germany, and Australia.
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