Since it’s announcement, SpaceX’s Starlink program has drawn the attention of many. The plan to put hundreds of broadband satellites into orbit could potenially provide internet reception to those in remote areas, where conventional methods of broadband connection are limited or non-existent.
While SpaceX have steadily been expanding their network of satellites in orbit, details surrounding the future of the program have been limited.
Now, the company is looking to test the strengths and weaknesses of their new satellite broadband service by inviting participants to adopt it.
According to a Starlink newsletter emailed to those who had subscribed on the Starlink website, private beta testing will likely begin at the end of the year. This will be followed by public beta testing.
The rollout of the service is ambitious – historically, a major drawback to satellite broadband has been latency with response times slow. According to Musk, this won’t be the case with Starlink, who says that achieving a latency below 20 milliseconds is one of the goals for the program.
Currently 540 satellites have been placed into orbit as part of Starlink. According to musk, this number is enough to provide minor coverage. However this number is certain to increase, having received permission from the FCC to launch up to 30,000 satellites into orbit to expand it’s Starlink network.