Over half a million people have already signed up for Starlink satellite internet but there are currently less than 70,000 active users. That puts the vast majority on a waiting list. Starlink started their public beta testing phase in October 2020 and since then the waiting list has been growing constantly. At the moment, Starlink has launched only 1,500 of their projected 42,000 satellites and is offering services to limited areas in the US, Canada, and the UK. As satellites are launched, coverage will increase, and those on the waiting list will have to wait no longer.
In the meantime, how long will you have to wait? It depends on where you live. If you live in an area that is currently offering Starlink satellite service, you could have your Starlink internet up and running in a few weeks. The official numbers are somewhere between 2 and 8 weeks to get your equipment in the mail. But if you live in an area that doesn’t offer Starlink services yet, your wait could be much longer. If you are interested in Starlink satellite internet, it is still a good idea to sign up. On the Starlink website, you can type in your address and they will tell you when your area is projected to receive service. If you are in the United States, it is likely to be very soon. If you are outside the US, your wait could be longer. However, Starlink is increasing coverage constantly, so it’s only a matter of time before it reaches you.
Waitlist times range from mere weeks to years depending on your address and the Starlnink capacity at your location. Demand is generally high and service is not yet available everywhere. Some people have been on the waitlist for years but the average wait time is 3-12 months. Your address may not have a waitlist at all and in that case it will take two to eight weeks to receive your equipment kit from Starlink after you place your order.
To get on the Starlink waitlist you first need to first place an order and pay a deposit. You’ll be in good company as there are reports of more than a million people overall on Starlink waitlists. You can estimate wait times for your area on the Starlink coverage map.
There are a couple of ways you can get around the waitlist. The first is to sign up for Roam service (formerly RV). Roam is available anywhere and doesn't have a waitlist. It will work anywhere there is Starlink coverage, which is great, but one downside is that your data as a Roam customer is deprioritized when traffic is high. This is often at night. It means you take a back seat to Residential customers who have priority for the available bandwidth. While that’s an ouch at times because you can experience higher latency and outages, it’s certainly preferable to not having any internet at all. Roam costs $150 per month. You can pause Roam service if you need seasonal internet. It’s great for vacation homes. Roam can convert to Residential service without an equipment change if capacity opens up at your location. Residential service cannot be paused.Waitlisted customers, or “pre-order” customers in some locations may receive an email from Starlink to inform you that you are eligible for Best Effort service. Not all waitlist customers will get this notification but it lets you order a dish and receive the Best Effort level of service that’s similar to Roam but costs just $120 per month. Data is deprioritized during crunch times but the good news here is that Best Effort can be paused. Best Effort can be converted to Residential service when capacity becomes available at your location. Starlink is an evolving internet service provider with certain dependencies including obtaining approvals from governing authorities for adding more satellites to the network. Rules can change without notice so stay informed. Based on performance speeds and competitive pricing Starlnk may be worth the wait for you.
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