SpaceX secured a license to install a ground station that provides “Blanket Coverage” across Britain. The application was approved by the communications regulator to install the ground station will be installed on the Isle of Man. This coverage will provide internet to the rural areas in Northern Britain where broadband or internet doesn’t reach.
Starlink ground stations are already located in Buckinghamshire and Cornwall. With the upcoming base station in the Isle of Man, the company can provide internet all over Britain. Starlink is in competition with the UK-based internet provider, OneWeb. Also working on providing internet through low-orbital satellites, OneWeb is already popular in Britain.
Starlink in the UK
Earlier this year, Starlink launched its services at £89 ($123) a month which is separate from the satellite dish which costs £439 ($610). Which is comparatively at a higher price than in the US with $99 per month and $499 for the satellite.
In March there was an announcement about Starlink receiving extra funds from the UK as part of “Project Gigabit”. It is Britain’s internet infrastructure program with a $6.9 billion investment. The program aims to provide internet across one billion homes in the country. Starlink is among the companies to get support from this program.
Starlink program aims to provide high-speed internet services in remote areas. SpaceX received a notable portion of the investment. Which raised some questions among its competitors. Recently many newly formed companies are coming up with technology to provide speed internet services and the competition is getting tough.
Starlink is working to providing global coverage, which requires them to get permission from telecommunications in different regions. By the end of 2021, the first orbital satellites of 1,800 will be in their designated locations in space. Ground stations are part of connecting to satellites, making them a major part of providing internet services.
In June, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said, “We’ve successfully deployed 1,800 or so satellites and once all those satellites reach their operational orbit, we will have continuous global coverage, so that should be like September timeframe,” Further added, “But then we have regulatory work to go into every country and get approved to provide telecoms [telecommunication] services,”
Starlink satellites have a single solar array and krypton-powered ion thrusters that are used to rise into operational orbit. As designed by SpaceX Starlink, the located satellites will be able to signal to users all over the earth. By 2027, Starlink plans to launch 42,000 Starlink satellites into orbit.