SpaceX purportedly crossed the finish line on October 24, 2020, following the achievement of the 800 Starlink broadband internet satellites in orbit. Barely 48 hours later, the company announced the officially opening of Starlink to “beta” subscribers, with prices as low as $99 a month for 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s broadband internet service.
Demand for the service has been reportedly brisk in the United States, with sources also stating a brisker demand in Canada, as regulators approve Starlink to offer internet service in Canada as well.
Canada’s Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Ministry announced in a tweet on November 6 that it has granted “regulatory approval for the @SpaceXStarlink low Earth orbit satellite constellation.”
The announcement is predicted to disrupt the internet service industry in Canada, with customers already lamenting about the payment forced on them by internet service providers. Consequently, the service from Starlink is expected to offer a significant improvement for a lot of consumers, especially rural internet users.
SpaceX has also intensified their effort to speed up their connection to up to 1 gigabyte per second, about 20x improvement over the initial capabilities of the beta service. This is in line with company’s suit of a $16 billion rural broadband contract from the FCC.
Experts have justified SpaceX’s decision to launch in Canada as the country has been described as a logical market due to the limited number of satellites it has in orbit. This move will help in bringing in some revenue to finance the company’s planned expansion.
SpaceX has promised “near global coverage of the populated world” by 2021. However, the Starlink website has explained that due to where initial deployment of Starlink satellites are orbiting, the company can only offer internet coverage to “the Northern U.S. and Canada in 2020.”
The government of Canada has issued a statement concerning the recent developments. According to the ISED Minister NavdeepBains, “our government recognizes that high-speed Internet access is no longer a luxury — it is essential.”
Reports in local media have revealed that SpaceX is offering Canadians almost exactly the same service price as in the U.S. — C$129 (about $98 U.S.) for the service itself, and C$649 ($495 U.S.) for the hardware. Musk also recently promised “big expansion” of the service in Canada “in 6 to 8 weeks.”
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