How to Get Starlink Internet For Free? The ever-increasing cost of Elon Musk’s internet might push you to explore how to get Starlink internet for free.
The company’s push for reliable global connection comes with a lot of investment in satellite technology and ground infrastructure.
For that reason, obtaining a free internet connection by the general public is not a possibility, at least for now.
However, you may be lucky to enjoy Starlink internet connection services through certain avenues.
For instance, the government of your country may partner with this internet service to offer a heavily subsidized or free connection in underserved areas.
If you live in such areas, you may get connected to the internet at a minimal charge or for free.
How to Get Free Starlink Internet
While there is no standard free internet service offered by the company to the general public at the moment, we have identified some scenarios that may offer you free Starlink service.
These avenues are rare and should not be the sole reason for subscribing to this service.
Government Subsidy Programs
The government may enroll in subsidy programs for rural internet access.
If Starlink gets selected as part of the program, you may enjoy their service for free or at extremely reduced charges.
The latest scenario is the Mexican policy that aims to offer free internet access throughout the country until 2026.
Starlink is one of the selected few internet services to carry out this plan and has been awarded 1.56 pesos ($89.8) to that effect.
The 2020 Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is another popular rural broadband subsidy program in the US.
The 20.4 billion worth project nearly awarded Starlink close to $900 million to offer internet connection in underserved areas.
However, the FCC later declined Starlink’s bid, citing failure to show its obligation to offer high-speed internet service to enough rural areas.
Well, SpaceX launched the first batch of Starlink satellites in 2019. Therefore, in 2020, the service was still new, with limited coverage in the US.
It was not easy to win such a project.
Excited lady enjoying internet connection
You may also get lucky to enjoy Starlink’s free internet through charitable work.
Organizations like the Internet Society Foundation usually offer help with internet access during or after a natural disaster.
Such organizations usually partner with internet services such as Starlink to offer affordable or even free internet connection in affected areas as part of philanthropic efforts.
One of the biggest barriers to education, especially in rural areas, is unlimited access to high-speed internet. Starlink has the potential to level the playing field and make learning resources accessible to all.
Through initiatives such as Starlink for Education, students can access affordable or free internet. This opens up a world of opportunities for learning or personal growth.
Through the Starlink Beta Test Program
Since its launch, Starlink has been conducting beta testing to gather responses that can help it improve its services.
Beta testers receive complimentary access to internet services during that testing phase.
However, this opportunity is challenging and may require specific qualifications.
Why is Starlink Not Free to the Public?
The investment involved in creating Starlink internet service is the main reason it cannot be free to the general public.
Billions of money are required for station construction and launching the satellite into space.
In addition to the construction and launching costs, there are ongoing operation expenses associated with operating satellite networks and maintenance.
These include ground station infrastructure, data transmission, satellite control center expenses, employees’ salaries, and more.
Ideally, Starlink requires a large number of satellites in low Earth orbit to offer a reliable internet connection.
The company initially targeted 12,000 satellites for a global connection, but Elon Musk later revealed he has the node to launch up to 42,000 satellites if he wishes.
Currently, there are already more than 4,000 Starlink satellites in space.
Let’s say the company meets its targeted initial requirement at the end of this year. Falcon 9 launch vehicles can handle around 60 satellites per launch.
Therefore, the company will have 200 launches to achieve its targeted 12,000 satellites in space.
Note that Falcon 9 is the cheapest launch vehicle of its class, with a published price of around $56 million per launch in low Earth orbit.
So, how much will 200 launches cost? Around 11.2 billion.
This is just the cost of launching the satellites, excluding the construction of ground stations and ongoing operation expenses.
For the sustainability of the service, Starlink must recoup these expenses.
To achieve this, the company centered its business model on a paid subscription.
With this framework, complimentary access seems to be a far-fetched dream.
A satellite base station
How Much Does Starlink Cost?
Starlink costs may vary from country to country. However, the US is one of the most expensive countries for this service in the world according to TechCentral Research.
A US resident must pay a $599 one-time fee for the hardware. After the installation, you start paying a $110 monthly subscription fee.
Starlink RV users may spend the same amount on hardware but a little more on monthly charges at $130.
Starlink business kit comes at a $2,500 one-time fee. The monthly charges start at $140 but can go up to $500 depending on the priority service plan that you choose.
Starlink satellite dish
When Will Starlink Free Internet be Available?
SpaceX has never made an official announcement concerning their plan to make Starlink a free internet service in the future.
The company focuses on expanding its paid customer base by launching more satellite networks for wider coverage.
Though it may not be possible to have free Starlink internet in the future, we expect a significant drop in the monthly charges.
With the increasing competition, the company is likely to review its charges anytime soon.
Furthermore, as various governments intensify their efforts to improve internet coverage in remote areas, more subsidy programs will likely emerge.
If you are a Starlink subscriber in remote areas, expect episodes of free internet service.
Ensure you always stay informed about government internet connection grants and local initiatives.
How to Get Starlink for Free: Wrapping it Up
You can take advantage of government programs, initiatives or company promotions to enjoy the service at reduced cost or even for free, particularly in remote areas.
However, these programs are challenging, with some having limited availability and eligibility requirements.
Always research to determine if the program applies to your situation.