Not likely any time soon. While it is certainly possible that HughesNet could one day be put out of business by Starlink or some other competitor, for now, Starlink’s price and availability are going to be an obstacle preventing many potential customers from even considering Starlink.
Starlink is still in a Beta testing phase, and only available in some areas. HughesNet, in contrast, is available all over the United States, as well as Brazil, Columbia, Peru and Ecuador. Until Starlink progresses to the point that it can compete with HughesNet’s availability, HughesNet isn’t in any kind of danger.
HughesNet, along with most other internet service providers, offers different levels of service at different price-points. Many customers just need the internet to stay informed and connected to friends and family. They just need a stable, reliable connection without all the bells and whistles. For these customers, the least expensive option is typically the first and last option they consider. Starlink only has one service plan. At $99 per month plus the one-time purchase of the self-installation kit for $499, Starlink is not going to fit that bill.
Many people living in rural communities don’t have many options to choose from when it comes to internet service providers. Satellite internet has been and continues to be one of the best options for people living in rural and remote areas. Starlink offers a higher speed and lower latency than HughesNet with no data limits, so for online gamers, and others who need to download and upload large amounts of data every month, Starlink is going to sound very appealing.
If Starlink has any chance of putting HughesNet out of business, it will only be if they can compete with HughesNet in terms of price and availability. With the large number of satellites that still need to be launched to complete Starlink’s satellite constellation, it’s probably not going to be happen any time soon.
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