Space X CEO Elon Musk is setting some pretty high expectations for his Starlink satellite broadband service the only way he knows how. Through Twitter of course.
In reply to other tweets about Starlink broadband service, Musk says he expects the satellite broadband service to offer 300 Mbps speed with 20 milliseconds of latency later this year.
The tweet was in reply to a new Starlink user who shared a speedtest for the satellite broadband service that registered 130 Mbps. Initial users of Starlink have reported speeds as low as 50 Mbps up to well over 100 Mbps. Starlink recently opened up its beta testing program and now accepts customers for the service.
Musk also claims that most of the Earth will be covered by Starlink later this year, and all of it by next year. Importantly, Musk also reiterates that Starlink broadband service is best suited for low and medium population density markets.
This of course is Musk’s modus operandi for communications – offer some pretty important news via tweet, with little to no detail.
Starlink is the subject of great scrutiny, particularly because the company has qualified for close to $1 billion in RDOF funding to help support rural broadband expansion. Questions include can Starlink broadband service really deliver promised speeds of 100/20 Mbps at scale to RDOF locations, to why is the government helping fund the service from a company with a value of over $74 billion, owned by the world’s richest man?
A recent filing says Starlink has over 10K subscribers already. The service is marketed for $99 per month, with an upfront charge of $499 for equipment. The service has a fleet of over 1,000 LEO satellites in orbit, but will need to launch many thousand more to get the coverage it’s promising.
Questions will certainly remain and skepticism will continue to be high until Starlink broadband service is operating at scale. Time will tell, but we are sure to get a flurry of tweets to help fill the time, but probably few answers to all the questions.