starlink satellite dish

It’s still very early in the ‘ballgame’ of broadband and low earth orbit (LEO) satellite broadband players haven’t gotten up to bat much yet. But recent performance for SpaceX’s Starlink service reveals somewhat underwhelming momentum.

During a Starlink satellite launch event yesterday, a company engineer, Jessie Anderson, offered an update on progress for the highly anticipated broadband service, led by celebrity executive Elon Musk. Starlink has a total of 145K subscribers across the globe, Anderson reported.

That’s up only 5K subscribers from a similar revelation last November, according to a CNBC report. According to the report, SpaceX blames the slowdown in part on supply chain woes, specifically a shortage of silicon chips, a familiar explanation these days.

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It’s an interesting data point, considering a recent report from Ookla noted a slowdown in Starlink median speeds in the third quarter 2021. A slowdown Ookla suggested may be attributed to more subscribers on Starlink’s service.

Back in May 2021, CNBC reported that Starlink had 500K pre-orders, with prospective customers paying a deposit of $99. At the time, Musk suggested the company wouldn’t have much issue serving those 500K customers. “Most likely, all of the initial 500K will receive service,” Musk said in a tweet. “More of a challenge when we get into several million user range.”

By my math, it seems like there are hundreds of thousands of prospective Starlink subscribers waiting for service, with many having waited well over 8 months (so far).

Starlink service is now live in 25 countries and regions, according to Andersen. The engineer noted during the launch event that Starlink is increasingly working with first responders to bring internet access during natural disasters.

She also gave an update on a pilot project with the school system in Wise County, Virginia. Starlink connected 45 student homes in 2021, with 315 additional student homes on tap to receive the service soon in the mountainous region of Appalachia.

Thursday’s launch placed 49 Starlink satellites into orbit. Starlink could eventually place over 12K satellites into orbit. There are just shy of 1,900 in orbit today (including the 49 from yesterday), highlighting again, we’re still quite early in the game.

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20 thoughts on “Starlink Satellite Broadband Not Exactly Hitting it Out of the Ballpark

  1. I live in northern Nevada and have been trying to contact you about the equipment I have made initial payment for, when should I be receiving it so I can realize benefits of your service Phone 207 458 4992 thank you
    **5

    1. Dude, did you seriously put your phone number on a news article message board?

      I’m sure Elon SpaceX will be calling you any moment now to tell you about your special satellite that is on the way

  2. I live in northern Nevada and have been trying to contact you about the equipment I have made initial payment for, when should I be receiving it so I can realize benefits of your service Phone 207 458 4992 thank you

  3. Putting 12000 multi ton objects into lower Earth orbit, blocking the sky and causing impossible to retrieve space objects for any reason the least being a need for a little faster bandwith , seems insane. Musk will go down in history as a monster with the scientists who were silent when they bettee. All for ego.

    1. Every sentence of your statement is totally wrong
      1 – each satellite is 260 kg – not multi ton
      2 – at 259 mile LEO , 12000 satellite distribution is negligible ;!that’s one satellite per 12000 square kilometers
      3 – one tiny satellite per 12000 sq KM won’t object Sky
      4 -space object are never retrieved ; they disintegrate in upper atmosphere on reentry. Happens to thousands of meteors everyday
      5 – “foo a little faster bandwidth” : lucky you ! I have NO internet – no cable , no ATT. Dishnet is constantly down due to cloud . I have no choice other than Starlink
      6 – call Elon Musk what you want – he is an eccentric genius with a physics major from the IVY LEAGUE U- PENN. Mitch – what is your education and what’s your IQ? And what have you done to impact society

      Please use facts rather than assumptions or conspiracies .

    2. Little faster bandwidth? You obviously have never been stuck with Hughesnet. I see a lot of people complaining about slow dsl speeds but at least you have the option of dsl. You’d fucking kill yourselves dealing with satellite internet and I’d give my left nut for any dsl service. And Mitch, everything you said was completely false.

    3. I’ll echo DocVader. I have NO internet in rural western WA for most of the year because of cloud cover. So I have to drive well over an hour each way to work. How’s that impacting the environment, even in an electric car? Your comments are irrelevant and obtuse.

  4. Starlink only has a bare minimum of satellites currently in orbit to be able to provide service. Their plan was to launch hundreds of satellites each year but they have only been able to launch a few dozen every 2-3 months. This will have to improve immensely before the service is of any value.

    1. It’s really easy to say that Starlink is not meeting demand…but they are trying. This is more than I can say for any of Canada’s telecom. It’s WAY more than what the Canadian government is doing as they have been boasting for YEARS that high speed internet is right and have used this as an election platform….yet nothing ever happens.

      I’ll give my money to Elon any day!

    2. They just launched the 2,000th satellite, after only 2 years of steady launches. That’s nearly 1,000 per year.

      They are considerably more limited by user dish production than by satellites right now. They need to build 500 or 1000 dishes for every satellite produced.

  5. To the people that are being undeserved by telecommunications networks starlink is amazing. Going from copper line dsl to over 100mbps with low latency is like flying in a hot air balloon compared to first class seats on the concord. Write all the hit articles you want. We are happy to pay for starlink.

  6. Speak for yourself…
    Here in rural Maine where there are limited options for high speed internet, this technology is an absolute game changer.
    I completely expect and understand that there will be unforseen complications with the vast rollout of a new technology. I’ve personally experienced very few outages or detriments to my Starlink Internet service. I would never considered going back to < 20mbs DSL that is offered in my area.

    Let us focus on good in things, as we strive for more.

    doug w.

  7. I’ll wait for Starlink. The roadmap for fiber deployment shows 2027 for my home. I’m not super rural. It’s just a lot density area and telecoms have done nothing to improve their service once they started losing to cellular.
    Id rather see telecoms fail more than I’d like to see satellite succeed. They had a chance for years and did nothing but sack away money.
    Dsl went from 6mb to 1.5 Because they won’t maintain their lines or right of ways.
    Starlink is the viable alternative. 50mb service would be 30x what’s available here, 300 foot past the city limits sign.100-200mb will be game changing.

  8. Gordon…this isn’t a starlink website. You might want to remove your phone number since its open for the world to see.

  9. I’ve had Starlink for two months now, has been amazing so far, 150megabit or higher… My alternative is 1megabit service from Viasat or HughesNet.

    I’ve never had internet anywhere this fast, ever!

  10. Living in a rural area of Northern Wisconsin the Starlink service has been wonderful. Going from DSL with less than 4mb download and less than 1mb upload to 50-200mb download and 5-10mb upload I am not going to complain. I appreciate someone trying to provide useable internet to my location.

    Now we can participate in Zoom meetings and do not have any problems streaming.

    Yesterday we received an update which increased our download speeds by 2x. I don’t think that was based on number of users.

    Good job SpaceX.

  11. Imagine actually having an ISP available to you in 2022. Oh wait that’s me, I still don’t because of the rural area, not even DSL. My only option is a Verizon hotspot capped at 150gbs. All these people complaining about the service actually have WIRED ISP’s. Imagine being so mad at actually being able to have internet. Idk why people who live in the middle of nowhere with no ISP don’t get service first. Don’t even say Hughes net or visasat garbage. With 700ms pings you can’t do anything, Google meet, games, etc. I would kill to have even a 5mbs DSL line with unlimited or 1tb caps so I could use a streaming service or join a company meeting without having to drive to town.

  12. It’s really easy to say that Starlink is not meeting demand…but they are trying. This is more than I can say for any of Canada’s telecom. It’s WAY more than what the Canadian government is doing as they have been boasting for YEARS that high speed internet is right and have used this as an election platform….yet nothing ever happens.

    I’ll give my money to Elon any day!

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