Elon Musk's Starlink satellite service is being beta tested in BC

Starlink now available in BC


It may come as a shock to some but only 36 per cent of rural households in British Columbia have access to reliable high-speed internet service.

That is changing, however, thanks to Elon Musk's Starlink, satellite internet is now available, depending on where you live.

Starlink is a new high-speed internet service provided by U.S.-based SpaceX, which has launched nearly 900 satellites into a low-Earth orbit over the past year.

If you live within the right coordinates you can now apply to be part of Starlink's satellite internet beta testing program.

  • Province Latitudes (°N)
  • Alberta 49.0 – 51.5
  • British Columbia 48.4 – 51.7
  • Manitoba 49.0 – 51.1
  • New Brunswick 45.3 – 47.6
  • Nova Scotia 45.0 – 46.0
  • Ontario 43.1 – 51.0
  • Saskatchewan 49.6 – 50.7

Once approved, users can purchase the necessary hardware which costs $649 for the satellite dish and $129 per month.

SpaceX began the public beta program in October and some subscribers are reporting service speeds of up to 150Mbps. The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication Commission granted Starlink’s operator, SpaceX, a Basic International Telecommunications Service license in October 2020. The license allows SpaceX to provide telecommunication services in Canada but does not allow the company to operate as an internet service provider.

SpaceX has said it will cost U.S. $10 billion or more to build the network but industry analysts have estimated that Starlink could earn as much as $30 billion a year once it is fully operational.

The Starlink satellites float at low-Earth orbit, which cuts down on signal latency and allows the satellites to return to earth with greater ease once they’re decommissioned.

Stargazers have expressed concern that the satellites could obscure the view of the night sky.

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