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SpaceX Taking Starlink Internet Service Preorders From More Regions

Elon Musk's SpaceX is expanding preorders for the Starlink internet service to more regions.
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SpaceX, the space-travel-services company owned by Elon Musk, began taking preorders of its Starlink satellite internet service from more countries and cities. 

Preorders of a beta of the service called Better Than Nothing will now be available in Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and parts of the U.S. and Canada where it is not yet up and running. 

Better Than Nothing launched in October and had been available in parts of the northern U.S., southern Canada and parts of the U.K.

People interested in the service who are outside the current service areas can put down a $99 deposit to get access to the service once it becomes available, which is expected later this year.

Starlink says orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis. Starlink, which uses a network of satellites to provide internet access, costs $600 up front, plus $499 for an antenna and router, and then $99 a month.

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Starlink is currently in the regulatory portal in the Caribbean, Austria, Spain, Ireland, Italy, the Philippines, India, Japan, South Africa, Brazil and Columbia, according to a report from Teslarati. Musk is chief executive of electric-vehicle producer Tesla  (TSLA) .

In December, SpaceX won nearly $886 billion in funding from the Federal Communications Commission under a new program designed to encourage companies to extend broadband access in the most underserved U.S. areas over the next 10 years.

The Hawthorne, Calif., company is one of 180 companies that received government funds from a $9.2 billion auction. 

SpaceX's Starlink internet service is currently in beta testing and is not yet fully operational. 

The service relies on an experimental network of nearly 12,000 satellites that send internet service to antennas mounted on people's homes.

SpaceX to date has launched 900 of those satellites.