Starlink is Elon Musk’s satellite internet solution (currently in “beta”), is now available to pre-order in Australia. Satellite internet services has often been publicised as an internet solution for those in regional and rural Australia, but it has typically been much slower and less reliable than what is available in metropolitan areas. Starlink is promising speeds similar to NBN 100 with speeds up to 200 Mbps (megabits per second), which would be a major benefit for those in rural areas looking for a fast connection.
What is Starlink?
Starlink is a high-speed, low latency broadband internet system owned by SpaceX that will continue expansion to near global coverage of the populated world in 2021.
Starlink is being pitched toward areas where connectivity has been challenging, such as rural and regional Australia.
The major difference between Starlink satellites and other internet satellites is that they’re 60 times closer to Earth. This means Starlink can deliver faster, more responsive connectivity than you’d typically expect from other satellite internet services.
Is Starlink available in Tasmania?
In a short answer, yes.
Starlink launched in “beta” in the US in October 2020, and are now accepting pre-orders for Tasmanian addresses with the objective of delivering its internet services in 2022.
Starlink also notes that availability is limited, and orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Starlink is already able to deliver their service to the Australian market but it’s in limited supply. The company says the service will expand across the country in 2021. Under the terms of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) five-year licence granted to Starlink in January 2021, the company can only provide internet service to “low and remote density areas”.
At this time, Starlink is only able to provide their high-speed internet service to “low and remote density areas”. This covers all of Tasmania with Starlink coverage in Tassie at 99.9 percent.
How much does Starlink cost in Australia?
Starlink plans costs $139 AUD per month. You’ll also need to pay $709 in hardware fees, and $100 in shipping and handling. If you pre-order, you’ll need to put down a fully refundable deposit of $139. The company notes that putting down a deposit won’t necessarily guarantee you a service.
At this stage, Starlink has just a single plan with unlimited data. In its FAQ, the company notes there the service currently has no data caps while in “beta”, but hasn’t clarified whether this will still be the case down the line. Starlink have mentioned there will be no other plans available and will be sticking to a one tiered plan for all consumers.
How fast is Starlink?
During beta, users can expect to see data speeds vary from 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s and latency from 20ms to 40ms in most locations over the next several months as they enhance the Starlink system. There will also be brief periods of no connectivity at all. These speeds are current with the typical NBN 100 speeds currently available.
Starlink says users can expect latency of 20 milliseconds (ms) to 40ms in most locations, and this will drop to less than 16ms to 19ms in mid to late 2021.
However, in a tweet, Elon Musk said that Starlink speeds will increase to as fast as 300Mbps later this year. In addition, he’s hoping that latency will sit round 20ms more consistently, rather than blowing out toward 40ms.
What equipment do you need for Starlink Tasmania?
Starlink orders include a Starlink dish (nicknamed “Dishy”), mounting tripod for ground level use, and a Wi-Fi router. The Starlink dish can work from ground level without needing to be installed to your home’s roof. However, you will need a clear field of view to the sky from ground level. A roof mount (sold separately) is recommended if you plan to mount it on your roof. A perfect solution for Tassie homes with the clearest skies in Australia.
Starlink requires a clear view of the sky to connect. Download the Starlink App to determine your best install location.
As Starlink launch more satellites, install more ground stations and improve their networking software, data speed, latency and uptime will improve dramatically.
Your satellite dish is powered over ethernet (PoE) so once you have connected Dishy to the modem, the dish will locate the satellites automatically and your connection is ready to go.
Note* Starlink units are tied to a specific set of satellites, and as such, you can’t change address or move your unit without contacting the Starlink support team.
Is Starlink better for Tasmania than the current NBN?
Starlink will serve as a reliable alternative for those stuck with subpar fixed wireless or FTTN NBN connections. However, satellite internet is better suited for areas with less dense population, given that each satellite has a finite bandwidth capacity.
Contact us for information on your Starlink Tasmania instalation.