SpaceX is taking their Starlink satellite internet service into hyperdrive, now offering blistering 10 gigabit per second download and upload speeds. But with a starting price of $75,000 per month and a one-time $1.25 million setup fee, it’s clearly aimed at an exclusive set of enterprise customers with deep pockets and not average consumers.
So how does it work? For that hefty $1.25 million setup fee, SpaceX will build you a dedicated facility to receive the broadband signals from their fleet of satellites orbiting overhead. This delivers fiber-optic like speeds, with under 100ms latency, using SpaceX’s network of global laser mesh satellites operating in a dedicated frequency spectrum.
This new 10Gbps service is part of SpaceX’s “Community Gateways” business program, designed to provide lightning fast satellite internet to local providers who can then distribute it for home, business, and government use. It allows them to bypass the massive costs and time investments needed to lay fiber optic cable to offer blazing fast broadband, instead leveraging SpaceX’s satellites to deliver it straight from space.
But even internet service providers are balking at the price tag, with one fixed wireless operator saying it’s extremely expensive compared to a 10Gbps fiber connection, which they can get for around $2,500 per month. While great for remote government and enterprise use, they see limited applications for small ISPs without financial assistance.
So while 10Gbps satellite internet sounds exciting, with current pricing aimed at the top end of the market, average consumers clamoring for Starlink’s broadband services will need to keep waiting. SpaceX isn’t beaming 10Gbps to your home anytime soon. But for remote research facilities, military bases, cruise ships, and data centers in far-flung locations, it provides a new option for blazing fast connectivity, if you’ve got the millions to spend.