SpaceX may soon start offering Starlink’s satellite internet service to Canadians. The country’s regulators — the Innovation, Science and Economic Development department, in particular — have granted the company’s request for regulatory approval, allowing it to offer beta access to the high-speed internet network provided by Starlink’s satellite constellation.
The service’s beta trials only started a few days ago after SpaceX sent out emails to people who previously signed up to receive more information about it. In the US, the service costs users $99 per month, not including the $499 upfront cost for the hardware kit needed to access the network. SpaceX called the beta program “Better Than Nothing Beta” to lower people’s expectations. It explained in the email that the service will suffer from inconsistent performance and brief periods with no connectivity at first. Early testers have been sharing mostly positive results, though, with some reporting download speeds of over 100Mbps.
SpaceX always intended to include the more rural parts of Canada to the first list of locations where it plans to offer beta access. However, it could only reach a limited number of locations for now, because it still needs approval for its ground stations in the country. According to SpaceQ, that means the beta program will initially be available in areas also covered by US ground stations. Elon Musk told the publication that the company is working to make Starlink more widely available until it achieves full global coverage by the end of next year.