Elon Musk’s Starlink Nears 100,000 Australian Customers

Elon Musk’s satellite-based internet service, Starlink, has witnessed significant growth over the past two years, amassing nearly 100,000 active subscribers.

While this might be good news for Starlink, it has raised concerns about the ability of the National Broadband Network (NBN) to compete with such high-speed internet products in regional areas. With Starlink providing high-speed internet access in remote locations, the NBN might face stiff competition, making it difficult to achieve its goal of providing broadband connectivity to all Australians. 

In this article, we will look closer at Starlink’s rise and its challenges for the NBN.

Starlink’s phenomenal growth has captured the attention of industry executives worldwide. Earlier this month, the satellite company reported that it had nearly 100,000 active subscribers, and this number is expected to continue growing in the coming months.

In a recent round table meeting attended by representatives from Amazon Project Kuiper, NBN Co, Intelsat, Optus, OneWeb, Telstra, TPG Telecom, Viasat, and Vocus, along with several government agencies, Starlink discussed its growth and the challenges it faces.

At the time of the meeting, Starlink had 95,000 active subscribers, a significant milestone for a company that launched just two years ago. The meeting allowed industry leaders to assess the impact of Starlink’s success on the broader market.

NBN’s response

The rise of Starlink has put pressure on NBN Co to take action to retain customers. The telecommunications sector rejected the company’s proposed pricing structure, prompting NBN’s Chief Executive and head of development to face tough questions at a recent Senate hearing. The executives were grilled about their plans to prevent customers from defecting to low-earth orbit satellite technology providers like Starlink.

In response to the competition, NBN Co has announced a new Sky Muster trial to provide customers faster speeds and more data. The trial aims to deliver better performance and improve the experience for rural and remote customers. However, NBN Co has also reported a modest decline in the last 12 months, with around 10,000 premises disconnecting from Sky Muster.

The round table meeting held earlier this month saw representatives from various companies and government agencies in attendance, including Amazon Project Kuiper, Optus, Telstra, Viasat, and Vocus. The meeting was an opportunity for Starlink to showcase its impressive growth, with the company boasting 95,000 active subscribers.

The meeting has raised concerns about the National Broadband Network’s ability to compete with high-speed internet products in regional areas. With Starlink gaining traction and delivering faster internet speeds to customers in remote areas, NBN Co must act fast to improve its offerings and retain customers.

elon's starlink
Image Source: www.analyticsinsight.net

The increasing popularity of Starlink in regional areas has put pressure on NBN Co to improve its services and lower its prices. The telecommunications sector has rejected NBN Co’s pricing proposal, highlighting the need for NBN to become more competitive.

The impact of Starlink’s growth on NBN’s business has become a concern for government agencies and industry executives. During the Senate hearing, NBN’s Chief Executive and head of development were grilled about their strategy to stop customers from moving to a low-earth orbit satellite technology companies like Starlink.

In response, NBN Co announced a new Sky Muster trial to deliver customers faster speeds and more data. However, NBN’s business has seen a modest decline in the last 12 months of around 10,000 premises that were connected to Sky Muster.

On the other hand, Starlink’s service provides internet using low earth orbit satellite constellations, promising speeds of between 100 megabits per second (Mbps) and 300Mbps. This service is becoming increasingly popular in rural and remote areas that have previously struggled with strong internet coverage.

While Starlink continues to expand its reach, NBN Co has warned that wireless services like Starlink threaten its business’s viability. Another industry source suggests that low earth orbit satellites are eating NBN’s lunch, and NBN’s only response is to raise its prices.

As the telecommunications sector continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how NBN Co will respond to the threat posed by Starlink’s growth. With the increasing demand for high-speed internet in regional areas, more competition will likely emerge in the market, forcing NBN Co to become more innovative and cost-effective in order to remain competitive.


However, with the announcement of a new Sky Muster trial to deliver faster speeds and more data, NBN Co may be taking steps to address the challenge posed by Starlink and other low earth orbit satellite companies.

The future of internet connectivity in regional areas remains to be determined as both Starlink and NBN Co compete for customers.

It is yet to be seen how the telecommunications industry will adapt to the changing landscape of internet connectivity in Australia’s remote communities.

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