SpaceX hype has reached new heights. A motorist in California recently was stopped for attaching a satellite dish to the hood of his Toyota Prius. The dish was supposed to look like Elon Musk’s Starlink antenna. It probably wouldn’t have done anything, but it just goes to show that people are really excited about Starlink. What is it?
What is Starlink?
Musk is using SpaceX to launch several projects in outer space. And one of these projects is Starlink, a venture that seeks to launch satellites into orbit to provide people with access to high-speed broadband internet. “Starlink is ideally suited for areas of the globe where connectivity has typically been a challenge,” the Starlink website reads.
SpaceX already has launched more than 1,000 satellites this year alone, creating a “constellation” of satellites that will supposedly be faster than regular internet service. And the service could potentially be functional globally as early as this fall. Although there are still several issues to fix — including reliability and the satellites crowding the night sky — Starlink is generating a lot of buzz and already has customers wanting to sign up for Starlink beta.
The price problem
However, Musk thinks it will take a few years to make the service affordable to users. A big issue they’re facing right now is how to slash their prices. The price for the beta version of Starlink is a steep $600 for the antenna and router alone, plus a $99 monthly subscription. This cost is much more expensive than regular internet services, which average at around $68 per month. So, if Musk wants to compete against the likes of AT&T and Xfinity, he’s going to have to reduce costs eventually.
Starlink still has a lot of ground to cover before it’s the most convenient internet provider. But with the amount of money, time and tech being invested into making the program cheaper and more efficient, it could achieve its goal. The biggest issue for the project right now is price, as people are unlikely to switch if the prices aren’t lower. Millennials already spend a lot of money on internet, and making the switch to a pricier service makes no sense, no matter how great it is. But once Musk finds a way of cutting the prices down, a new internet era might be upon us.