I (and I assume all other ‘Better than Nothing Beta’ participants) received an update email from Starlink today… Included below for your enjoyment! 🙂

If you are receiving this email, you are among the first people in the world to use our Starlink service! Thank you not only for being an early customer, but also for your support and feedback. Your experiences are making a meaningful impact on Starlink development.

The Starlink team has continued to introduce upgrades and improvements since we first rolled out our Better Than Nothing Beta service just two months ago.

Most notably, the Starlink team has begun repositioning of more than 500 satellites in an effort to improve coverage and decrease outages. These maneuvers may introduce short outages in the near term, but the final result is expected to substantially improve user experience in Q1 2021.

In addition to the repositioning effort, the team has also made the following upgrades:

Improved NAT Types
Upgraded the Starlink WiFi router to improve Network Address Translation (NAT) types for online gaming. Users will see notable improvements in the quality of peer-to-peer (P2P) gaming as we continue to grow the network in the coming months.

Xbox Live
Resolved a bug in the Starlink WiFi router software that was causing packet loss during Xbox Live gaming and connection diagnostic tests.

Improved User Latency
Improved latency for users who were on the boundary between different cell service regions. Overall latency will continue to improve as we deploy more satellites, install more gateways, and upgrade our software.

Snow Melt Mode
Deployed basic Snow Melt Mode, during which Starlink produces additional heat to mitigate signal attenuation caused by snow build-up on the face of the user terminal.

The new year will also bring an expansion of the Better Than Nothing Beta program; the Starlink team is planning a broader rollout as early as Q1 2021, with continuous upgrades along the way.

Thank you again for being an early supporter of Starlink. From everyone on the Starlink team, we wish you a happy holiday season and an amazing 2021!

The Starlink Team

Email update from Starlink, 2020-12-22

Michael

Resident Tesla nut and polymath. Raised in eastern Kentucky, joined the US Navy at 19 to operate a Nuclear Reactor on a Fast-Attack submarine. After finishing his enlistment, Michael has continued to follow his passions in technology, astronomy, and of course, traveling the country.

2 Comments

Daniel Hershberger · 2020-12-30 at 10:04

How can I sign up for the Starlink beta?
If I wanted to invest in Starlink how would I do that? Is it solely owned by Tesla? or SpaceX? I can’t find a symbol for it, We are full timers in our 2016 op bus. currently we are in Apache Junction AZ we spend a considerable amount of time in MN in the warmer weather season.

    Michael · 2020-12-30 at 13:17

    Hi Daniel,
    To sign-up, you’ll need to add your info at https://starlink.com, they’ll email you when the address you use is covered by their beta program. Starlink is a SpaceX project (or sub-company?) and is not currently publicly traded. The good news is Starlink expects to widen their beta and potentially cover everything above 30° N Latitude by the end of January — but I wouldn’t be shocked if this gets delayed a bit.

    Hope you’re enjoying Apache Junction! Safe travels.

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