Would You Let Elon Musk Put a Satellite on Your Roof?


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Guess what, internet lovers: Starlink is available to preorder in Australia.

In April 2021, Starlink began rolling out to select areas of the country through a beta. With the beta over, you can now order a Starlink service, though be aware of shipping, supply and coverage constraints.

Here’s how much it costs and how fast the speeds are.

Is Starlink available in Australia?

Starlink is out of beta, which means that you can now preorder the service in Australia. Head over to the website and see if your address is available. If you’re interested in the Starlink satellite map, you can find a handy third party tracking website here.

How much does Starlink cost in Australia?

Plugging your address into the website reveals that the total cost of the consumer service per month is $139. However, a $924 hardware fee and $150 shipping fee will also be incurred (total: $1,074 to start off).

starlink australia
I’m not gonna show you my address, are you crazy? Image: Starlink

If you want to sign up on the spot, you will need to pay the full $1,074 for the shipping, hardware and first month of service altogether.

This is actually a much higher price than what it originally went for last year. Back then, Starlink cost $709 for the hardware, $100 for the shipping and handling and $139 per month for the service, to a total of $948. However, the service was still in beta.

The business plan offers speeds of between 150Mbps and 500Mbps for $750 per month, with a setup fee of about $3,895 (of course this is only available to business customers).

How many plans does Starlink offer?

At the moment, Starlink offers two plans. The normal plan offers unlimited data with speeds between 100Mbps and 200Mbps, billed at $139 per month. The business plan offers unlimited data with speeds between 150Mbps and 500Mbps for $750 per month.

How fast is Starlink?

According to Starlink, users can expect speeds of between 100Mbps and 200Mbps on the service. Additionally, users can expect latency as low as 20ms “in most locations”.

According to Ookla, a website that measures internet speeds, Starlink users can experience download speeds of about 141Mbps on average and upload speeds of 14Mbps. Latency is reported at 43ms on average. This information comes from Ookla’s Q4 2021 Starlink report.

How does Starlink compare to the NBN?

In terms of base speed, Starlink appears to offer a faster home internet experience than the NBN, with speeds of between 100Mbps and 200Mbps, depending on the conditions.

The fastest widely available NBN plan, NBN 100, is capable of speeds up to 100Mbps, the low point of a Starlink plan. Though there are NBN 250 and NBN 1000 plans available, Starlink’s consumer plan is faster than most NBN plans.

That being said, it’s also more expensive than most NBN plans. At $139 per month, with a starting cost of $1,074, it’s difficult to say that it offers better value than the NBN.

Just on latency for a minute: NBN plans typically experience latency of between 8ms and 20ms, which is of course much better than what Starlink offers.

Due to the latency, it’s probably not worth getting a Starlink plan if you have a fixed-line NBN plan if you’re an avid gamer, however if you rely on satellite internet, you should consider it.

How does this compare to NBN Sky Muster satellite plans?

Starlink’s biggest point of difference to the majority of the NBN is that it’s a satellite service. This means it can service areas that copper or fibre NBN can’t due to infrastructure limitations.

This is particularly relevant to a country as big as Australia, but we do already have Satellite internet.

Satellite NBN, or Sky Muster, is similar to Fixed Wireless in that it’s for rural areas that can’t connect to the NBN (or even 4G) in any other way. However, it takes it a step further as it’s able to service remote areas that don’t have stable 4G access.

The problem with Sky Muster is that it can really slow compared to other NBN services — it only offers NBN 12 and NBN 25.

However, this has been helped with the introduction of Sky Muster Plus. This provides customers with unlimited data (except for streaming and VPN). It also offers burst speeds which means it can go above the usual NBN 12 and NBN 25 limits.

Meanwhile, Starlink is claiming speeds of between 100Mb/s to 200Mb/s and latency as low as 20ms. Early beta users reported speeds of over 100Mbps.

Starlink offers a significant increase in speed offerings for people in rural areas. And it’s possible because Starlink is a low-orbit satellite system that is roughly 60-times closer to earth.

Here is Skymuster’s current NBN 25 plans:

And you can find out more about the Plus plans here.

While these are cheaper options than Starlink, they are much slower and, with the exception of Sky Muster Plus, have data caps. The above widget shows a mixture of on and off peak data allowances.

Can I take my Starlink satellite dish elsewhere?

When you order a Starlink service, it will be tied to the property you order that service to. While the dish you receive from Starlink is widely portable, you’ll need to keep it at the same address for the service to work.

Recently, Starlink announced plans to let customers take the dish on the go for about $35 per month (local pricing is still to be confirmed).

Should I get a Starlink service?

If you’re living in a remote part of Australia and need a stable, reliable internet connection, you should probably consider Starlink. Though Skymuster offers a reasonable internet service, Starlink undoubtably  offers better performance, though it is far more expensive.

However, if you have a fixed-line internet service, it’s tough to say whether or not Starlink is a good idea for you. Speeds will likely be better on a Starlink plan, however your latency will be worse off and you’ll be paying more for your internet.

This article has been updated since it was first published.


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