SpaceX’s Starlink internet service has raised its prices for the first time since it started serving customers in October 2020.
The company run by Elon Musk recently sent an email to customers informing them of the price hike, with the company citing inflationary pressures as the cause.
So, for new customers, the starter kit comprising the satellite dish and other equipment now costs $599, up from $499, while the monthly service fee will rise to $110 per month, up from $99, for all customers.
It also means that customers who have already put down a deposit but have yet to pay the full amount will be required to pay $549 for the kit, the midway point between the old price and the new one.
“Due to excessive levels of inflation, the price of the Starlink kit is increasing from $499 to $549 for deposit holders, and $599 for all new orders,” Starlink said in the email to customers, adding that the new price will begin applying to subscriptions on April 22, 2022.
Customers are able to receive a partial refund of $200 during their first year of service, while a full refund is available if they received the kit within the last 30 days. Deposits can be fully refunded. On its website, SpaceX says that depending on the customer’s location, orders may take six months or longer to fulfill.
At the time of writing, fees for Starlink’s recently launched premium service remain the same. Starlink Business customers are asked to pay a $500 refundable deposit, along with a $2,500 fee for the antenna and router. The service itself costs $500 per month.
Attempting to justify the price hike, the email also said that since launching the Starlink public beta service in October 2020, SpaceX has “tripled the number of satellites in orbit, quadrupled the number of ground stations, and made continuous improvements to our network,” while promising that it will continue to improve the network and add new features.
Elon Musk recently suggested that Starlink now has around 250,000 customers in 25 countries.
The internet service is powered by a constellation of satellites in low-Earth orbit that beam broadband to customers. SpaceX’s main goal is to serve communities currently without internet access or with poor connectivity, though people in a growing number of locations, including cities, are also able to sign up for Starlink.