Why is Starlink So Expensive: Understanding the Cost Behind Starlink Internet Service

Why is Starlink so expensive? Is it worth the price? These are some of the most common questions you will get back when you inform someone about this technology.  Starlink is one of the most …

Starlink satellite in a night sky

Why is Starlink so expensive? Is it worth the price? These are some of the most common questions you will get back when you inform someone about this technology.

 Starlink is one of the most expensive satellites by SpaceX, and you may wonder why.

We will show you what makes Starlink expensive and if it is worth the cost. 

Table of Contents

Satellites, are usually more expensive than traditional cable due to the technology involved in creating the internet. 

Even among the satellites, Starlink is among the most expensive, and several factors contribute to this. 

Satellite Manufacturing and Deployment: Starlink’s founder company, SpaceX, heavily invested in resources for designing, building, and launching a constellation of Starlink satellites

Developing and launching thousands of advanced satellites contributed to the pricing. 

Research and Development: Developing cutting-edge satellite technology and its refined network infrastructure needs in-depth research and development efforts. 

Therefore, expenses were incurred during the innovation and improving the Starlink system, which the company must factor in when deciding the cost of their services.

Infrastructure and Maintenance: SpaceX uses a low earth orbit constellation and user terminal to offer internet connectivity.

 Establishing and maintaining infrastructure like data centers, ground stations, and support systems need high operation costs. 

Regulatory Compliance: SpaceX’s initiative is to create a worldwide broadband to get compliance with national and international regulations. 

For that reason, the internet provider must navigate a complex terrain of legal requirements in different countries. 

The compliance costs like licensing fees and regulatory filing contribute to the expense of Starlink. 

Low Subscriber Base: Starlink is still new in the industry and, has fewer subscribers than established internet providers. 

This means its fixed cost used in manufacturing, deployment and infrastructure maintenance spread among its few customers resulting in highly individual costs. 

That said, we expect its cost to reduce as its network expands and economies of scale chip in. 

Performance: Starlink comes with many goodies compared to other types of satellites.

 It offers lower latency, higher speed and more reliable connectivity, even in remote areas. 

Internet Starlink satellite in space near Earth

Internet Starlink satellite in space near Earth

So, how expensive are we talking about? Well, Starlink prices widely vary depending on the plan and location.

 Here are the Starlink costs based on the plans:

Standard Residential: This is the Standard Starlink package tailored for residential use. 

For this package, you pay a one-time fee of $599 for the equipment and monthly fees of $99 -$110. 

Starlink Roam/RV: The US Federal Communication Commission (FCC) approved Starlink in moving vehicles like trucks and recreation.

 This plan also requires a one-time fee of $599 for the equipment.

 The monthly fee, however is a little higher than Residential and comes at $135 monthly. 

Starlink Business: In the Business Plan, you get an antenna with twice the Residential Plan capability and faster internet speed, which makes it more expensive. 

You must pay a $2,500 one-time fee and a $500 monthly subscription. 

Starlink Best Effort Plan: If Starlink isn’t available in your area, the company will communicate an estimated date when they will start offering their services there. 

You can make a preorder, during which you will be included in the waitlist.

 When making a Starlink preorder, you must deposit $99. 

Starlink Marine: This plan targets marine users. For this plan, you will pay a one-time equipment fee of $2,500 and a monthly charge depending on the data cap. 

The data cap options include 50 GB, which is the cheapest, 1TB and 5TB. 

Starlink Aviation: This is a great option if you need high-speed WiFi while flying. 

To install it, you must pay a one-time fee of $150,000 for equipment, followed by a monthly fee between $12,000 – $25,000. 

Starlink antenna receiver

Starlink antenna receiver

We agree Starlink can be a tad expensive. However, given its benefits, it is a great internet option to choose from. 

The technology offers better performance compared to other types of satellites. 

Starlink offers a lower latency and speed than other types of satellites. 

Though its speed may still be lower than cable internet, it offers a better value in remote areas where cabled infrastructure cannot access. 

Several factors contribute to Starlink high prices. 

Although it may be costly compared to traditional providers, its global coverage, low latency, reliable connectivity and high speed make it an attractive option.