Elon Musk’s venture to bring superfast internet to areas outside of existing broadband coverage is set to expand into another major market, after securing critical regulatory approval of its antennas.
Starlink received regulatory approval for its user terminals from the U.K.’s communications authority, Ofcom, in November, the regulator confirmed to MarketWatch. The user terminals are akin to antennas or satellite dishes that each customer needs to tap into the internet network.
Starlink is a part of the billionaire Tesla
chief executive’s space-exploration company SpaceX, which is private, but Musk has indicated that the company may go public.
The internet venture plans to use a constellation of 12,000 low-Earth satellites to bring customers superfast internet.
Read this opinion: SpaceX will need to solve these two problems for Starlink to be successful
SpaceX has already launched close to a thousand satellites for the company, which has begun beta-testing its service in the U.S., where the service costs $99 a month in addition to $499 for the home hardware.
The U.K. approval marks a major expansion by Starlink into Europe, where Germany and Greece have also approved the user terminals, according to local media. Australia has also approved the antennas.
Starlink’s push into the U.K. means that it could end up competing against a satellite internet company controlled by a consortium including the U.K. government.
Ofcom’s green light for Starlink came four months after the U.K. took a £400 million ($539 million), 45% stake in satellite firm OneWeb along with India’s Bharti Global. OneWeb, which went bankrupt in March 2020, was building a space network for broadband internet.
In late December 2020, Musk said via Twitter
that it “will most likely make sense for Starlink to go public once the revenue growth is reasonably predictable.”
Starlink’s U.K. approval was previously reported by The Telegraph over the weekend.