Hooking up to Starlink might be pricier than you thought
Increases inbound for Musk's satellite Internet service and his Falcon rockets
Prices are rising for customers of both Elon Musk's Starlink Internet service and his SpaceX rockets, with "excessive levels of inflation" to blame.
An email to users posted on Reddit showed a hike from $499 to $549 for Starlink deposit holders waiting for hardware, and a jump to $599 for new orders. The monthly service price will also jump from $99 to $110. The hardware rise is effective immediately, while the subscription increase will take place from May 9.
"The sole purpose of these adjustments is to keep pace with rising inflation," insisted the company, although customers still waiting for their hardware to actually arrive might find the increases a tad galling.
Still, there is a full refund available for customers who have received their kit in the first 30 days, as well as a partial refund of $200 within the first year of service.
A year ago, boss Elon Musk said that costs were "decreasing rapidly" when it came to the Starlink dish. However, earlier this month, Musk complained of "inflation pressure in raw materials & logistics" and so here we are.
Starlink is not the only Musk service to be hit by the inflation stick. The exec's rocket business, SpaceX, has also increased its prices [PDF], again citing "excessive levels of inflation."
A Falcon 9 launch has gone up from $62m earlier this year [PDF] to $67m while the Falcon Heavy rose from $90m to $97m. The company also warned that "Missions purchased in 2022 but flown beyond 2023 may be subject to additional adjustments due to inflation."
- IT vendors set to use headline inflation to justify price hike
- OneWeb turns to SpaceX for satellite launches
- China launches test satellites for orbiting broadband service
- SpaceX Starlink sat streaks now present in nearly a fifth of all astronomical images snapped by Caltech telescope
To be fair, inflation is being used to justify price hikes across the board. US inflation over 12 months hit 7.9 per cent in February [PDF] and analysts warned that climbing expenses coupled with existing pressures in the technology marketplace could well lead to rises.
Starlink is not the only game in town. OneWeb is also due to complete its own satellite constellation in the next year or so, although it is now dependent on SpaceX for a ride to orbit after having what could charitably be called a bit of a falling out with Russia over the use of the Soyuz. ®