Many hopeful Starlink customers who have been waiting patiently for their turn to get Starlink satellite internet service received a frustrating email letting them know their wait had just gotten even longer. When they received the email to check their order status, they discovered they would not be getting Starlink at the end of the year, as Starlink’s website had previously indicated. As SpaceX was planning to increase equipment production to meet the demand of close to a million pre-orders, supply chain problems and a world-wide semiconductor shortage are threatening to throw a wrench in the gears.
While it is impossible to verify the validity of the claims, there have been many reports on Reddit from those who have been on the waiting list for months but have now discovered they won’t be getting their equipment when they expected. While some only had their orders delayed till 2022, some had theirs pushed back all the way into 2023.
An email from Starlink was shared on Reddit by u/QuiramJadaculla revealing that SpaceX’s efforts to produce the equipment for customer pre-orders had been hindered by the inadequate supply of silicon. It went on to say that Starlink now had coverage available in 20 countries, and that they now had some new model satellites that can use lasers to communicate with one another in orbit. After checking the status of their order, u/QuiramJadaculla discovered a new delivery date of mid 2022, instead of the expected mid-to-late 2021.
Some of those on Reddit had smaller delivery window shifts, only needing to wait till December 2021 to receive their equipment, but many more have seen their dates moved to 2022. The largest group on the Reddit thread, about 1100 out of 2600 according to a poll, had new expected delivery dates in mid 2022. Very few had it moved as little as one month forward, but nearly 2000 had seen their dates moved to mid 2022 or later.
One customer, though not the only one, had a particularly frustrating experience seeing their new delivery date pushed back a whole year to 2023. They posted this on the thread:
Signed up on Feb 8. I knew I was moving to very remote, rural NM; so I signed up for service there. they said MTL 2021. Last month when everyone's dates got extended, mine remained MTL 2021. Then, day before yesterday, late in the day I got the email. I went in to check my account and it had been moved to 2023! I was devistated. My sister wants to come live iwth me, but she needs to be able to work from home and my internet isn't near good enough for that to happen. So, now she can't come.
I have two adjacent properties, so just on a whim, I signed up the other property, yesterday, for Starlink. I checked the delivery and it said ETM 2022. After I signed up, it still said ETM 2022. So, what the heck? The properties literally share a fenceline. All of the other addresses I checked say ETM 2022 (on both sides of the property that says 2023. Grrrrr.............So frustrating. I have no cell service and my crappy DSL upload speeds are .2mbps IF it will stay up. It drops out about 20 times a day (sometimes for a few seconds, sometimes for hours). I'd love to have a part time online job, but no way with this kind of service.
SpaceX is not alone in its difficulties with the semiconductor shortage. Dr. C. C. Wei, CEO of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), said high demand for 5G products and high-performance computing would likely keep the shortage going into 2022.
While Dr. Lisa Shu, CEO at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), is hoping for a better situation in the second half of 2022, Intel’s CEO Patrick Gelsinger thinks the shortage might still be with us in 2023. With over 750,000 pre-orders and around 140,000 customers currently using the service, Starlink still has some very large hurdles in its path.
The whole email received by u/QuiramJadaculla is below:
Thank you for being a supporter of Starlink! Over 14 million people have inquired about Starlink service in their area and today Starlink is available in over 20 countries (and counting).
The Starlink team has been working hard to expand service and increase capacity while continuously improving quality of service. We will be able to accommodate more users per area as we increase the number of satellites in orbit.
Check delivery timelines in your account
Silicon shortages over the last 6 months have slowed our expected production rate and impacted our ability to fulfill many Starlink orders this year. We apologize for the delay and are working hard across our engineering, supply chain, and production teams to improve and streamline our product and factory to increase our production rate.
You can check estimated delivery times by logging into your account page on Starlink.com. You will still receive an email from the Starlink team when your order is ready to ship, and you may cancel your order at any time for a full refund of your deposit.
Latest Starlink now in production
We recently released the latest version of Starlink which was designed for high volume manufacturing. The latest version of Starlink has comparable performance to the previous version and will begin to ship globally next year.
Expanding to more countries across the world
Since our October 2020 launch in the United States we have expanded our service to 20 additional countries: Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Austria, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Switzerland, Portugal, Chile, Poland, Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico, Sweden, and Croatia. Pending regulatory approval, we are planning to launch in an additional 45+ new countries by the end of 2022.
More satellites in orbit with newer technology
We recently completed our 31st Starlink launch with our latest generation of satellites that are equipped with inter-satellite laser links, which enable our satellites to transfer data between each other. Once fully deployed, inter-satellite laser links will make Starlink one of the fastest options available to transfer data around the world.
Thank you for your continued support!
The Starlink Team
We are here 24/7 to answer all your Internet Service Questions:1-855-690-9884