Tuesday, 17 November 2020 10:56

Richmond County could gain a new internet service provider in the near future

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A batch of 60 Starlink test satellites stacked atop a Falcon 9 rocket, close to be put in orbit. A batch of 60 Starlink test satellites stacked atop a Falcon 9 rocket, close to be put in orbit. SpaceX

HAWTHORNE, Calif. - Space launch provider SpaceX has begun to roll out its “Better Than Nothing” beta test of its Starlink internet service. 


SpaceX has been launching as many as 60 of its Starlink satellites per launch since last May when the company began building its fleet of internet broadcasting satellites. SpaceX now has more than 800 satellites in orbit. To put that in perspective, the World Economic Forum says that there are currently 2,666 operational satellites orbiting Earth. 

According to an email sent to potential beta testers from SpaceX, beta testers can expect 50 to 150 megabits per second data speeds and pay $499 for the receiver along with a $99 monthly subscription. SpaceX plans to launch a total of 12,000 satellites in the constellation and a possible expansion to 42,000 satellites, according to FCC documents.  

Due to the geometry of the satellite positioning, rural communities, like Richmond County, will have better reception than more urban areas. This means that areas currently underserved by traditional internet service providers will be ideal locations for use of the Starlink constellation. 

SpaceX is perhaps best known for being the first company to land and refly a rocket’s first stage. This past Sunday, SpaceX launched four astronauts to the International Space Station on the first privately owned spacecraft to place humans in orbit. The next batch of Starlink satellites is scheduled to lift off on Nov. 21. 

Those interested in receiving updates on Starlink or want to check availability at your home can the company’s website, starlink.com.

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 17 November 2020 11:09