Great Britain

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink ‘plans ground station on the Isle of Man’ for blanket coverage of Britain

Elon Musk’s Starlink space internet is setting up on the Isle of Man with plans for blanket coverage of Britain, a new report claims.

Starlink, which is developed by SpaceX, is reportedly in the final stages of getting a license to build a ground station on the island.

Alongside bases in Buckinghamshire and Cornwall, this means Starlink could provide full coverage across the country, the Telegraph reported, citing filings from the Isle of Man’s communications regulator.

Starlink acquired a license and the right to use spectrum bands and install equipment and was apparently the only one to express an interest in multiple spectrum bands.

In the UK, Starlink would charge customers £89 a month alongside a £439 fee for a satellite dish, with internet speeds expected to be around 150 megabits a second.

At the start of the year, it was reported that Ofcom had granted the company regulatory approval, which would see it compete with rival services like OneWeb.

Mr Musk has claimed that Starlink will likely move out of beta testing this summer. “Service uptime, bandwidth & latency are improving rapidly. Probably out of beta this summer”, Mr Musk tweeted in April 2021.

The change could mean more people will be able to sign up to the service, which currently has over 10,000 users.

However the program, which would require a network of tens of thousands of satellites, has been criticised as “extremely impactful” to astronomers’ scientific progress if more is not done to limit the impact of the satellites in the night sky.

Starlink did not respond to a request for comment from The Independent before time of publication.

This news comes after new regulations allow for space flights and satellite launches to be conducted in the UK.

Proposed locations for UK spaceports are Newquay in Cornwall, Snowdonia in North Wales, and the Western Isles, Glasgow, Machrihanish, Sutherland and Shetland, all in Scotland.

Space tourism trips and hypersonic flights - which are faster than the speed of sound - will eventually launch from the UK too, the Department for Transport said. The first launch is expected in 2022.

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