Starlink’s internet service is now available in 32 countries around the world, the Elon Musk-owned company tweeted. Countries and regions marked on its map as “available,” including parts of Australia, Brazil, Chile, the US, Canada and most of Europe, can have their equipment shipped “immediately.” The service has steadily expanded since exiting beta last year, with availability in 12 countries as of September 2021 and 25 countries last February.
Starlink’s map shows areas marked as “available” (light blue), “wait list” (medium blue) and “coming soon” (dark blue). The service has a potential near-global reach at latitudes below around 60 degrees north, but availability is granted on a country-by-country basis.
The kits recently rose in price and now cost $549 for reservation holders or $599 for new orders, and include a satellite antenna dish, a stand, a power supply and a WiFi router. Service prices also shot up from $99 to $110 per month. Users can also now add a portability feature, letting them take the kit while traveling, for an additional $25 per month fee.
The company is primarily targeting remote regions that can’t get connected otherwise, to start with. It offers very respectable speeds of 104.97/12.04 Mbps (download/upload) in the US as of Q4 2021, nearly up to fixed US internet speeds. In theory, speeds climb as the company adds more satellites and ground stations. Latency is slower than fixed broadband (40 compared to 14 milliseconds) but far better than other satellite options including HughesNet (729 milliseconds) and Viasat (627 milliseconds).
Starlink has not been without controversy. Astronomers have complained that the thousands of satellites in its constellation have interfered with Earth telescope observations, and the company recently lost 40 satellites to a geomagnetic storm. In addition, Starlink’s license to operate in France was temporarily cancelled by the nation’s regulator ARCEP, with a final decision expected soon.