Wishing your boat had fast, satellite internet access? Now you can get it through SpaceX‘s Starlink Maritime, an internet access service specifically designed to be used at sea.
On Twitter, Elon Musk called it “Starlink for boats,” but it’s not that simple.
The official Starlink page says the new service is aimed for “merchant vessels to oil rigs to premium yachts,” which is a bit more accurate given the pricing. The hardware costs $10,000, shipping and handling is an extra $100, and service is $5,000 a month.
For the price, you’ll get “high-latency internet” with download speeds of up to 350Mbps.
As far as coverage goes, SpaceX says that Starlink Maritime allows you to connect from the most remote waters across the world, but that’s not really true yet. According to the company’s coverage map (below), only a fairly thin strip of sea/ocean around North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand is currently covered.
A far bigger chunk of the world’s oceans will get coverage in the fourth quarter of 2022, and the rest of the planet will get coverage in the first quarter of 2023.
Starlink Maritime is pretty tough and can withstand “extreme cold, heat, hail, sleet, heavy rain, and gale force winds,” SpaceX says.
A cool perk, though unlikely to be useful to anyone besides dictators and supervillains, is Starlink Maritime’s resistance to the forces and heat generated by rocket engines. You know those cool videos of SpaceX rockets landing at sea? SpaceX was using Starlink Maritime to deliver them, so if it can withstand that, it can probably withstand your puny rocket.
SpaceX says Starlink Maritime is easy to install, and basically the only thing you need is a little bit of deck space and an unobstructed view of the sky. And if you don’t need the service all the time (what, you’re not living on your superyacht?) you can pause it at any time.
Starlink Maritime is shipping within two weeks; check out if it’s available where you live over at https://www.starlink.com/maritime.