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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Says Starlink Exits Beta Next Month

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says the company’s Starlink high-speed internet service will complete beta testing next month.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Thursday tweeted that the company’s Starlink high-speed internet service will complete beta testing in October.

Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report founder Musk’s revelation about Starlink came in response to questions on Twitter about the high-speed internet service, including one from a subscriber who has been waiting four months for the full launch of the service.

By August, SpaceX had launched 1,800 low-orbit satellites into space since November 2019 to support Starlink with an overall goal of launching about 12,000. Musk said in an August tweet that SpaceX had shipped 100,000 Starlink terminals to users in 14 countries for the beta testing.

Beta testing for Starlink began in October 2020 for a high-speed internet service that Musk hopes will have 500,000 users in about a year.

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The Starlink terminals will cost users $499, plus $45.98 tax and a $50 shipping fee. The monthly subscription fee will be $99. Subscribers can submit a $99 deposit for their terminal on the Starlink website and will be notified when the terminal is ready to be shipped.

The Federal Communications Commission in December 2020 awarded SpaceX $885.5 million as part of a program to expand high-speed internet to rural areas of the U.S. SpaceX was assigned locations of 642,925 unserved homes and business, of which 99.7% will receive broadband with speeds of at least 100/20 Mbps and 85% receiving gigabit-speed broadband.

The FCC allocated $9.2 billion in December 2020 for cable operators, electric cooperatives, incumbent telephone companies, satellite companies and fixed wireless providers through a competitive auction to provide funding to develop high-speed internet service for unserved rural areas. The federal agency set aside an additional $6.8 billion for a future Phase 2 auction.