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Starlink Cuts UK Ultrafast LEO Satellite Home Broadband Prices

Thursday, Aug 25th, 2022 (8:16 am) - Score 37,520
starlink user terminal SpaceX

SpaceX’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) based Starlink ultrafast broadband satellite service has been in the news a few times this week as they tweak their packages across the world, and today it’s the UK’s turn. Residential customers have been informed of a significant price cut from £89 to £75 per month. But there’s more.

The Starlink network currently has around 2,800 LEOs (spacecraft) in orbit around planet Earth and their initial plan is to deploy a total of 4,425 by 2024. Customers in the UK normally pay from £89 per month and £529 for the kit (dish, router etc.). But for that you can expect unlimited usage, fast latency times of 20-40ms, downloads of c. 50-200Mbps and uploads of c.10-20Mbps (speeds may change as the network grows).

NOTE: The compact satellites weigh about 260Kg each and orbit the Earth at an altitude of c.550 kilometres (vs 35,000km for the traditional GSO platforms).

However, over the past week we’ve seen a variety of package changes and service pilots creep in (here and here), which often seem to differ wildly between countries. But in a surprise announcement, which was issued to customers last night, Starlink has now suddenly slashed the price of their UK service too.

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Copy of Starlink’s Customer Email (Credits to Hywel)

Effective 24/08/2022, Starlink is reducing your monthly service fee to £75.

The price reduction factors in your local market conditions and is meant to reflect parity in purchasing power across our customers.

No action is needed from you, the price reduction will be automatically reflected on invoices generated after 24/08/2022.

Thank you for being an early customer and for your continued support of Starlink!

The reduction will come as a very pleasant surprise, but the good news doesn’t end there. While conducting one of our usual test orders, ISPreview also discovered that Starlink has slashed the price of their hardware package for new customers too, which is now being offered at £460 instead of the usual £529. Admittedly, the service is still a fundamentally expensive one, but it is now edging closer to that mass market “affordability” window.

Furthermore, there’s no mention of any performance or usage restrictions in the notice, which is something that some of Starlink’s customers in France have had to contend with in return for a lower price.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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30 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Ex Telecom Engineer says:

    I’ve expressed my views on other related articles about the usefulness of LEO service in the UK market. I thought I’d check the broadband maps to determine the number of postcodes with sub 24m broadband, and it looks like there are quite a few, but I doubt the accuracy of the map. I previously lived in a small coastal village, and had 30mb plus service since moving into the property in 2010 and moving out in 2019; When I checked the general area on the broadband map, it showed a sub 24mb postcode very close to my previous address. The map also shows my current road as having a sub 24mb marker, and I know the road is fully served by superfast 30mb plus broadband, so I suspect another inaccuracy on the sub 24m map.
    Superfast broadband is fast enough for the majority of users, with no upfront cost and priced at less than £25 a month; Why would 99.9% of the UK pay extra for a service, where they’d notice little difference in performance? With approximately 28 million households in the UK, probably 28,000 would benefit from a Starlink service, but out of that potential 28,000 how many would be willing to pay the high cost of a LEO service?
    I can see how LEO service will be successful in many parts of the world, but I suspect it will be a niche service in much of the developed world and is no threat to local communication providers.

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      According to Ofcom, the number of premises which cannot get a “decent broadband” (10Mbps+) service is currently 506,000 (around 1% of the UK), which shrinks to just 99,500 premises if you include delivery via fixed wireless and 4G broadband services (these may or may not deliver the desired speeds).

      Superfast broadband is fast enough for the majority of users, with no upfront cost and priced at less than £25 a month

      Fast enough for a business? What about the family home that wants to stream 4K videos while somebody else downloads or plays a video game? 24Mbps+ was “fast enough for the majority” a few years ago, but times are changing and demands continue to rise.

      The price point highlighted may also not be available to every location (e.g. you can’t get Vodafone, TalkTalk or Sky’s unbundled FTTC network everywhere and post-contract prices are often higher).

    2. Avatar photo Mike says:

      Clearly OpenReach and the other AltNets that are investing 25 billion into FTTH know something…

      There are still plenty of premises for whom this would be a useful service. I live in a postcode that is nominally “superfast” but on a good day when the joints aren’t damp I get 20Mbps down / 2Mbps up. And a connection that bounces up and down like a kangaroo. Starlink is getting close to the realms of being a better option – another 20% price cut and I’d be sorely tempted.

      And before you say “4G” there’s no signal in the house. Nada. From any network. This is less than 50 miles from London. I have to walk to the end of the drive to pick up 2FA SMSes. Nobody is building masts to fix that, and no network seems to want to enable wifi calling/texting except on a unicorn phone that you’ve bought from the network. (or an iPhone).

    3. Avatar photo Adrian Byron-Parker says:

      I agree with the cost vs performance is just not viable for the average UK customer. I think 4G/5G connection meets most requirements of UK general usage where decent wired connection is slow or unavailable.
      I just tested my connection using the “3” Network I am getting almost 200Mbps down 20Mbps with a Ping of 19ms. This is costing me £16 per month on a 12 month agreement.
      Bit of a no brainer really.

    4. Avatar photo Colin says:

      Cabinets get full. I lived in an area serviced by fibre to the cabinet. My neighbour got 35mbps, while we were stuck on 2mbps.

      I wonder if the maps are reflecting the average?

    5. Avatar photo Damian says:

      I’m getting 69Mbs down and 12Mbs up. I know some of my neighbors closer to the cabinet are getting significantly lower speeds. Some well south of 20Mbs download… So I suspect the maps are at best average.

      I could personally do with a significant boost in upload speed. Download speed at the moment is fine but uploading a single deployment image takes 32 plus hours. I’m currently storing them up for my next visit to the office as I’m generating one a week at the customer site (opposite direction to the office which makes it a four hour round trip which TBH would be faster than waiting for the upload).

    6. Avatar photo Emma Bell says:

      I live in a remote location i have tried all the 4g options (5g not available) on the market have been left with EE for which i pay £60 a month however the service is very patchy and goes down 1 or 2 times an hour on top of which because its my main internet i fall foul of the fair use policy so during the summer when there are a lot of holidaymakers its around 20mbs so i have to keep a BT line 19mbs and a latency so bad i cant game on it conisdering im 40 feet from the exchange is inexcusable another cost of £36 which i use to run netflix and when we have no EE. So thats £96 a month for poor internet £75 a month for internet that works is an absolute bargin. Its a disgrace that companies are granted permission to futher increase the performance in areas that already have choice and good speeds while so much of the country is stuck with sub standard internet and no 5g alternative. I cant even get a package deal for Sky bb and tv because the only line available at the exchange is reserved for BT. There are a lot of us that will welcome this.

  2. Avatar photo Hungry Dog says:

    RV price has also been reduced in line to £95

  3. Avatar photo Ex Telecom Engineer says:

    “which shrinks to just 99,500 premises if you include delivery via fixed wireless and 4G broadband services”

    In the last year, mobile providers have constructed a 20m lattice mast around 500m away from my house, and I’ve seen several compact monopole masts appear within a mile. If my location is anything to go by, 4G/5G coverage is being rolled out as fast as FTTP. I watched the construction of the lattice mast, and it became operational very quickly; They first put down a concrete base, then steel work at the base and appear to have anchored the mast to the steel work, with big concrete blocks weighing down the steel work, the site is currently powered by a generator and surrounded by temporary fencing. My point is these masts are being built in super quick time and becoming operational very quickly, if the same is happening nationwide I suspect many rural areas will have extremely good mobile coverage very soon.

    “What about the family home that wants to stream 4K videos while somebody else downloads or plays a video game? 24Mbps+ was “fast enough for the majority” a few years ago, but times are changing and demands continue to rise.”

    I see myself as a typical home user, we have several TV’s in the household and regulary watch different content in different rooms, using Prime, Netflix and SkyGo. Granted we don’t watch 4K content, but 1080P is easily good enough quality for us. We easily manage with our current superfast Sky broadband service and I agree in the future 4k will become the norm, with average home user bandwidth requirements ramping up, but FTTP and 5G will cover most of the UK before that happens.

    “Fast enough for a business?”

    It depends on the sort of business. If you’re providing high bandwidth content services, with lots of external users accessing your servers, would a standard broadband offering serve your purposes? Without the protection of commercial SLA’s, and slow fix times potentially impacting your revenue should a fault affect you. If you’re an optician, dentist, or small business, using the internet for cloud storage of files, do you need an “Ultrafast” broadband speed?
    My point is, does the average user currently need Ultrafast broadband, and is the hype cutting through when most are happy with their current superfast service?

    1. Avatar photo Andrew says:

      I live in Rural Suffolk.
      I am relatively close to my cabinet so am lucky enough to get full speed VDSL – ~78Mbps, I work from home full time and given the nature of my role a 50+ Mbps connection is really important, so I sought out a backup connection – I didn’t mind paying for it.

      My results so far :
      Vodafone ~17Mpbs on 4g. O2 best i’ve ever seen was ~12Mbps, but is usually sub 10Mbps on 4g. EE ~2Mbps on EE (poor signal, believe their mast is located behind a very large oak tree). Three – similar signal levels to EE (speed untested).

      So I’m left pondering my backup, none of them really cut it – perhaps with directional antennas I would see an improvement however having driven out closer to the Voda/O2 Masks I see very little improvement in speeds, so I’m skeptical. The local broadband over wifi service doesn’t reach my village (probably because most of us are at 50Mbps+ due to the cabinets!)

      I know wanting a backup 50Mbps+ connection and not having suitable 4g/5g connections isn’t average, but I think there are a fair few of us in a similar boat.

    2. Avatar photo Mark says:

      These “Starlink is too expensive to be a mass-market service” rants are getting rather tedious. It’s not marketed as such. It’s a niche product for those without a viable alternative. Are you suggesting that Starlink don’t market in the UK simply because the majority don’t need it?

      I’m not a radio engineer, but an Airband surveyor (who was) was explaining to me in great detail why conventional 4G is fundamentally unsuited to an “always on” connection, and is optimised for short term connections to mobile receivers. 4G is the “get out of jail free” card to boost coverage in the short term. Rural 5G won’t be any better, as the low frequency needed for decent range doesn’t deliver high speeds.

    3. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      It’s not marketed as such. It’s a niche product for those without a viable alternative.

      I take your point. But ultimately it’s a residential broadband service, which is indeed intended more for remote rural areas, but that doesn’t mean to say it is affordable to many of those in that area or that the issue shouldn’t be mentioned. Lest we forget that, regardless of intention, the service itself remains available to people right across most of the UK to order (i.e. it is not restricted to those rural areas).

    4. Avatar photo Ex Telecom Engineer says:

      “I’m not a radio engineer, but an Airband surveyor (who was) was explaining to me in great detail why conventional 4G is fundamentally unsuited to an “always on” connection, and is optimised for short term connections to mobile receivers. 4G is the “get out of jail free” card to boost coverage in the short term. Rural 5G won’t be any better, as the low frequency needed for decent range doesn’t deliver high speeds.”

      I disagree, your Airband surveyor clearly knows little about 4G/5G.

      You should check out Peter C’s Youtube channel. His video’s are really informative and quote real life results.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Bd4s2bumck

      https://www.youtube.com/user/scivids1999

    5. Avatar photo RobertPTF says:

      I live in a rural location and as went into COVID I was sharing through BT 4meg down and 1meg up with 5 other houses which was horrendous.
      In order to do my job from home I got a 4G router. Expensive but worth it as we got 15 and 5. (Only 1 mast 3 miles away, no 5G).
      Now I have Starlink and the performance is amazing. Yes it’s pricey but I have no other choice. Saying that my fuel savings are way higher.
      I’m now in the real world.

    6. Avatar photo Damian says:

      I’m in a semi rural location. We have FTTC.

      There are way too many trees between me and any phone mast.

      I only just get a decent 4G signal if I stand on the roof and I’m almost at the top of the hill. However throughput is way less than my FTTC connection.

      I’m unlikely to see 5G or FTTP any time soon. Probably get both after I retire.

      Starlink looks like a viable backup connection for working from home. Potentially I could use both connections.

      Not travelling to the Office every day is saving me 300 to 450 pounds a month. I can claim for travelling to the customer site…

    7. Avatar photo Farmer says:

      No, I don’t believe that streaming movies and playing games is a “need” compared to being able to getting your basic tasks done such as online banking, online purchasing, reading and sending email including attachments, using Web-based accounting packages to digitally file your VAT return, communicating with government agencies and the Council or to work from home, all of which my 4G EE broadband no longer enables me to do since the mast broke down 4 weeks ago and expected repair completion is another 4 weeks away. It drives me mad to see people complaining about low speeds of only 70mbps when mine has been below 1 mbps for weeks. But we rural people apparently don’t need broadband as much as people in urban areas, so the repair isn’t a priority.

  4. Avatar photo Huw Edwards says:

    I live in rural Shropshire about 2 miles from a small town that has FTTP being deployed. Broadband services here are few and painfully slow. We’ve tried TalkTalk, BT and Airband with dismal results. In desperation we tried EE 4G which occasionally worked well but was never stable enough to support someone who work from home full time and kids who are glued to their phones/Xboxes. Discussions with Openreach to use govt and local voucher schemes to fund fibre were fruitless.
    And then we discovered Starlink had finally enabled their service for our part of the country. Yes, it’s expensive upfront but we’ve used it for 3 months and it’s marvellous. It delivers 150-200mbps day in, day out and yes, we were pleasantly surprised to find out about the price reduction this morning. We’ve recommended it to several of our neighbours who have both signed up and are equally pleased.
    IMHO, all the talk about Superfast broadband being ok at 30mbps is archaic and an excuse for mediocrity at best. I had thought that satellite broadband would be for areas that are a long way from anywhere rather than just 2 miles from a small Shropshire town.

    1. Avatar photo Ex Telecom Engineer says:

      “We’ve recommended it to several of our neighbours who have both signed up and are equally pleased.”

      I suppose if you’re ok with the hefty upfront cost, expensive monthly cost, degraded service in heavy rain, and the 100w average power consumption then that’s ok. I suppose if you need it you need it, but i’d probably have waited for a cheaper alternative.

    2. Avatar photo Sarah says:

      We are in Shropshire and are considering Starlink. We currently pay £80 a month for 2 lines, each offering about 7mbps. Why do we pay the same amount as someone getting 30+mbps? The kids have their own line for their TV and Ipads and we have our own for our TV and computers. If we are watching TV, the computers lag like mad. I can’t do the food shop without being shouted at for slowing it down. We have been waiting for a service like this for years. Yes the upfront cost is expensive but it definitely looks worth it.

  5. Avatar photo Mark says:

    So what does that prove? Strangely enough, most of the rural population without decent FTTC performance don’t live within a couple of hundred yards of a transmitter with the latest performance upgrades, and with perfect line of sight. Even if they did, what would a suitable receiver cost? How does it perform 4-5 km away in undulating countryside?

    If you want real life results, we live in the catchment area of a mast that was upgraded relatively recently. We have a fixed directional antenna, giving a fairly strong radio signal (-88/89 dBm, SINR > 20 dBm) on Band 3 into a Huawei B818 router, which is upper end of the domestic market. Download speed is very variable, but in the range 10-25 mb/s during the day. Fine for HD streaming, but not 4K. That means I’m not a potential Starlink customer, but there are plenty of folk round here who could be. Radio waves travel in more or less straight lines. If you have a hill or too many trees between you and the mast, it doesn’t work.

  6. Avatar photo Adrian Byron-Parker says:

    I agree with the cost vs performance is just not viable for the average UK customer. I think 4G/5G connection meets most requirements of UK general usage where decent wired connection is slow or unavailable.
    I just tested my connection using the “3” Network I am getting almost 200Mbps down 20Mbps with a Ping of 19ms. This is costing me £16 per month on a 12 month agreement.
    Bit of a no brainer really.

    1. Avatar photo Mike says:

      Maybe Elon Musk, *the world’s richest man*, thinks there’s a business opportunity for those who don’t get 200Mbps on a speedtest from Three…

      This product is not aimed at “the average UK consumer”. It’s aimed at remote UK consumers, the guy up a mountain in Switzerland, the oil field workers in Angola, or the RV or yacht owner. Anyone who needs super-fast connectivity, literally, anywhere.

  7. Avatar photo Colin says:

    Shame you can’t find anywhere to order it if your location is in the coverage area but your village is too small to be recognized by the starlink availability map

    1. Avatar photo Colin says:

      Update, entering the longitude and latitude coordinates or dragging the location under the black spot on the starlink map will get the coordinates entered and the order process going.

  8. Avatar photo Gavin says:

    I’ve seen quite a few van, and motorhome dwellers on YouTube using Star Link. Obviously they are the power users making a living uploading videos to YouTube, so need a good internet connection. But I bet there are quite a few well off motorhome users who would just like to have internet on there holidays.

    1. Avatar photo Adam says:

      Yes i would recently had rubbish Internet in Scotland so starlink would be amazing on the moho roof for that price a month

  9. Avatar photo Sam G says:

    Happy Starlink customer here – we get ~35/6 on FTTC but it struggles with the demands of a family. Tried 4G, get a pretty good signal with EE once we had an external antenna fitted but quite unreliable. Starlink works brilliantly and we have the comfort of having 2 connections which is really essential for 2 x WFH as dropping offline for hours/days isn’t an option. When we consider what we’re saving on commuting vs pre-COVID we’re more than happy to pay the money until FTTP arrives and we aren’t the only people locally who think the same

  10. Avatar photo LC says:

    I live in a area classified as urban and i get crap FTTC, no virgin cable and not plan from Open Reach to improve. A house down the road (70m) has virgin but when i asked the company they told too expensive for them to extend, they don’t feel like it, too much effort, no partner company to dig the road, crap excuses r’us. To get 300mbit i was asked £14000 to get FTTP, not 1GBit, 300, can’t get a grant because it’s classified as urban area. Starlink is expensive and the speed oscillates however is can get an average of 113mbit, peaks of 200mb so pretty happy. No 5G coverage and 4G is a joke.

  11. Avatar photo vussey v says:

    i’m going for it, cancelled SKY, so my cost is now no more than it was. i’m 19 miles from London, 14mb fttc, no plans for ultrafast here.

    on the train into London i get EDGE only around orpington on Voda. 5g?, why not finish 3g first.

  12. Avatar photo Claire says:

    I am currently looking into Starlink as we have zero mobile signal from any provider and only 4mbps internet which is down our phone line. We can’t even run sky on demand and can only watch Netflix in SD. If anyone is using their mobile (which is on dial assist) the Netflix starts with its ring of death! We aren’t on the plan for an update even though we live north of Pickering in the North Yorkshire moors as no one is bothered about the odd house out here. I am currently locked in a BT contract that’s costing us £60 per month as they wouldn’t drop the price when we moved so where I sit currently £75 per month with good internet verses £60 per month with only 4 mbps is a winner!

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