The company is adding a new feature to its RVs, but it won’t be cheap.
SpaceX has said that its satellite internet service for moving vehicles, called Starlink for RVs, will be available in December 2022. You’ve been able to attach a satellite dish to the outside or inside of a parked car for a while, but it was meant to be used only when the car was parked, like at a campsite or a remote cabin (though there were those that tried to make it work on the go). Soon, you won’t have to give up internet access when you go on the road, but it will cost you.
SpaceX’s $599 satellite dish is used for the standard Starlink for RV service, but a Flat High Performance dish, which costs a whopping $2,500, is needed to use it while moving. (There was also a $50 shipping and handling fee when I looked at the order screen.)
For the “best effort” internet connection, the service will still cost $135 per month. Starlink tells you what to expect in a support document: “Network resources are always given less priority to Starlink for RV users than to users of other Starlink services. This means that service is worse and speeds are slower in busy areas and during peak hours. ”
SpaceX’s website says that the hardware is made to be weatherproof and is “designed for a permanent installation on your vehicle.” This likely makes it more expensive to get this service up and running on your rig unless you’re good at doing it yourself.
Customers can order it now in “select markets,” and SpaceX promises “high-speed, low-latency” internet in “select areas” (sorry, northern Canada and the Midwest of the United States).
The company has been working on this for a while, but it wasn’t until this summer that the FCC gave the company permission to use the system on moving vehicles. Since then, SpaceX has said that its service will be available on airplanes and cruise ships. It makes sense that cars, or “any moving land object,” as the company’s CEO, Elon Musk, puts it, would be next.