Elon Musk Says Starlink Satellite Constellation Is Now Large Enough For 60Mbps Public Internet Beta

starlink satellite

We are inching closer to the universal availability of high-speed Internet. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently announced that there will soon be a larger Starlink broadband public beta. SpaceX is currently waiting for its sixty recently launched satellites to reach their “target positions” before the company can launch the expanded beta.

The satellites were launched earlier this week after being delayed four times due to inclement weather and other issues. Astrophysicists estimate that all the satellites will fully reach their target positions by the middle of February 2021.

The larger public beta will reportedly be available in the “northern US and possibly southern Canada.” Elon Musk responded to one Twitter user that Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan would “soon” be part of the beta. He also noted that the beta will launch in other countries as SpaceX receives regulatory approval from those respective governments.

Musk initially promised this past spring that a larger public beta program would be available by the fall. However, SpaceX has yet to announce an official launch date for the program. Some believe that the program will open this November and expand as more satellites get to their target positions. It is also quite likely that the larger public beta, like many things in 2020, will be delayed entirely.

The initial Starlink beta has been up and running since July, but has been very limited. It started in rural parts of Washington state and has been particularly focused on testers involved in emergency services. The states’ Emergency Management Division recently stated that Starlink was essential for keeping them online and connected amidst the state’s fires. A representative from SpaceX commented that the state’s use of Starlink is “representative of how Starlink works best – in remote or rural areas where internet connectivity is unavailable.”

Many consumers are eager to join the beta, as existing testers reportedly experienced download speeds of up to 60 Mbps. Starlinks pricing also seems comparable to its competitors, especially in rural areas. Musk has previously stated that Starlink will cost consumers about $80 per month.