It has been an unusually hot summer already, especially in the west. That heatwave is giving some SpaceX Starlink users some real trouble, in the form “thermal shutdowns,” where users are losing their internet connections from the satellite broadband service.
A Reddit user group has been documenting the problem, with several commenters sharing screenshots of alerts regarding overheating of Starlink equipment. SpaceX is telling Starlink users that the equipment might experience overheating when the temperature reaches 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
Unfortunately for many in the western U.S., that temperature is a reality these days, although several in the Reddit user group say they’re experiencing problems below that threshold as well.
SpaceX recently revealed that Starlink has 500K pre-orders for its satellite broadband service that is delivering download speeds between 50 Mbps and 150 Mbps. The service is priced at $99, and requires equipment that costs $499.
The company has won provisional funding of close to $1 billion to serve 642K locations under the FCC’s RDOF program. That funding has drawn considerable controversy and SpaceX is seeing opposition from many fronts aiming to slow its momentum.
Speed tests done by Ookla in May of this year highlight some potential challenges for Starlink in meeting RDOF requirements. Ookla speed tests experienced median download speeds of between 40 Mbps and 93 Mbps, below the RDOF mandated baseline of 100 Mbps.
As for the heat issue, tech support is telling SpaceX Starlink users that relocating their dish equipment to a cooler area is one possible remedy. One user apparently sprayed down the dish with water and it started working again.
Actually, the suggestions in the Reddit user group are quite comical and worth a read. A bong cooler anyone?