A Kent man has become one of a “handful” of people in the UK to test out billionaire Elon Musk’s new satellite broadband service.
SpaceX Starlink was created in the hope of providing internet to remote location using satellites in space and launched a beta test in Britain earlier this month.
He was paying £35 a month for the standard BT broadband in the area with an average speed of around 20mbps, but since moving to the SpaceX product he’s had speeds of more than 200mbps.
The average speed for standard broadband in Sittingbourne and Sheerness is around 20mbps, with some “superfast” deals offering up to 200mbps in certain parts of the borough.
The 31-year-old was contacted by the technology company at the beginning of January after signing up for the chance to be involved in the beta and had his kit shipped over from the USA within four days when he was picked.
He said: “It’s a game changer for people living in rural areas and villages like Bredgar.
“Before it would be a struggle to watch Netflix without it buffering or use things like Zoom and work from home, as sometimes you’re struggling to get 1mbps, but this internet has made it so much easier. I’ve finally been able to download games on my console.
“It’s a bit surreal to be a part of it all. I was told by the company when they got in touch that I was one of a handful of people in the UK who are trialling it.
“You see SpaceX on the internet doing all of these launches but I never thought I’d be able to use one of their products.”
Train driver Aaron said the product, which includes a satellite dish he has nicknamed Dishy-McFlat-Face, is the easiest bit of kit he has set up due to its colour coding.
“It’s basically plug it into a power source, wait a couple of minutes and go. There’s no need for an engineer,” he added.
Elon Musk revealed his goal for the £7 billion pound Starlink project is to deliver superfast broadband internet around the world by “enveloping the Earth” with up to 42,000 satellites.
So far it has launched more than 800 satellites into orbit.
Musk’s company was given the green light last year to challenge the UK’s terrestrial internet provides and other companies such as BT.
The Starlink kit costs £439 up front, plus £84, for a monthly subscription and promises between 50mbps to 150mbps of broadband speed, which in Aaron’ case is often faster.
Those speeds allow you to stream ultra-HD quality video on at least five devices.