Starlink, Elon Musk's Internet Service Beaming From Space, is Now Available in the U.S. Virgin Islands

  • Ernice Gilbert
  • April 19, 2022

A Starlink dish mounted on a roof. By. STARLINK

Starlink, the internet service company from Elon Musk's Space X firm which is currently providing service in a number of countries around the world, is now available in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The company started sending out emails last week to people who had signed up for the service. "Users can expect to see download speeds up to 250Mb/s and latency as low as 20ms in most locations," Starlink said in an email to customers in the U.S. Virgin Islands on April 15.

Many Virgin Islanders have been sharing their excitement about Starlink's arrival to the territory, including this post on Facebook which received several positive responses. Another post received 72 comments, with some responders stating that they too had placed their order, while others were curious and inquired about performance.

Starlink through its parent company Space X has sent over 2,000 satellites to space in low earth orbit, or LEO, where those satellites are able to provide high-speed internet to customers, including gamers.

Some customers have reported having difficulties placing orders through their local address, an issue that is tied to the territory's still-developing presence on Google Maps. Customers have to use addresses that are properly listed on Google Maps to successfully place an order. Once one's location is determined, Starlink will then ask for the customer's shipping address, which includes the option for Post Office Box addresses.

Once the package is received, customers will get a pre-connected dish and a stand. Starlink has been shipping the second-generation rectangular dish, which has a flat white surface and is about 19 inches long by 12 inches wide. It also weighs roughly 8 pounds. The dish fits into its four-legged metal stand and connects to a wireless router – which plugs into a wall — with a cable that is about 75 feet long.

Starlink already has over 250,000 users in 25 countries, according to Mr. Musk, who is also the founder of Tesla, Space Exploration Technologies Corp, known as Space X, and The Boring Company. He is also the richest man in the world.

According to Ookla, which tests internet speeds and performance, Starlink was by far the fastest satellite internet service provider during Q4 2021. The service also competes with fixed providers in the U.S., with median speeds of up to 104.97 megabits per second (Mbps) download, and upload speeds of 14.84 to 24.17 Mbps. Starlink's regular tier service costs $99 per month and a mandatory $499 for the  initial hardware.

The company recently launched a business premium package for $500 a month that provides up to 500 Mbps download and upload speeds of 20 to 40 Mbps. 

Starlink's arrival in the U.S. Virgin Islands will put pressure on providers such as Broadband V.I., which was recently acquired by Liberty Latin America, the telecommunications giant that also purchased the USVI and Puerto Rico operations of AT&T. Viya will also face pressure as a result of Starlink's arrival.

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