Starlink internet service pre-orders open for South Africans

Date:10 February 2021 Author: Leila Stein

If you were waiting to get involved in Elon Musk’s Starlink project then the time has come. South Africans can now pre-order the high-speed internet service.

The service has launched in the US, UK and Canada for those willing to take on the beta testing since October 2020. Now Starlink is expanding its global reach with the addition of other countries, including South Africa.

The preorder option means you can put down money for the service when it launches. There is currently no fixed date for when South Africa will get coverage, although Starlink has said it’s aiming for 2022. Those who take up the pre-orders will get their internet access first, depending on when they put in their order.

The pre-order deposit is set at $99 (around R1,400) and is payable by credit card. The site does note however that it is fully refundable and does not guarantee service.

As was seen with the US roll-out, those who sign up are sent a Starlink kit when the company chooses to initiate its service. This includes a Starlink dish antenna, Wi-Fi router, power supply, cables and mounting tripod.

Improved internet speed at a cost 

The Starlink satellites may be the future of impressive internet speeds but they have been called out for interfering with important scientific tools on Earth. Astronomers are incredibly concerned that the high number of satellites being launched into low-Earth orbit will make it harder for them to study space.

Researchers in South Africa are particularly concerned because the country’s  SKA telescope in the Northern Cape might be affected as a result of Starlink’s satellites using the same spectrum as the telescope.

Picture: @thesheetztweetz/ Twitter

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