Telstra’s New Starlink Satellite Internet Plans Are Available Now, But There’s a Catch

Telstra’s New Starlink Satellite Internet Plans Are Available Now, But There’s a Catch

Last year, Telstra caused a bit of excitement when it announced that it would be offering plans on Starlink, the worldwide satellite internet service built by SpaceX, owned by Elon Musk. Well, now Telstra’s Starlink plans are finally available, but there are some serious caveats.

To get it out of the way – Starlink has been operational in Australia since 2021, and has since then become a considerable rival to Skymuster and fixed wireless NBN for its impressive speeds, though it does have much higher costs, including a steep entry cost (at $139 per month, plus a $600 equipment cost and a $150 delivery fee). It works through a network of Low Earth Orbit satellites, which beam internet to your home, which is received via a satellite dish.

Last year, both Telstra and Optus announced collaborations with the SpaceX-owned service – though Optus’ plan is more about phone connectivity than home broadband.

“While many Aussies already have reliable home internet through our NBN plans, some of us live in more remote locations where a different connectivity solution is best,” group executive of Telstra’s consumer division Brad Whitcomb said.

“This is where our Telstra Satellite Home Internet comes in – using innovative LEO satellites to provide high speed, low latency internet in even the most remote places. It will even provide you with a home phone connection.”

telstra starlink
The Starlink modem (left) and the Telstra modem (right). Image: Starlink

Telstra’s Starlink plans are intended for home addresses and are targeted at Aussies living in regional and rural areas. That makes sense, considering that fixed line and 5G home internet plans are both cheaper and offer lower latency than satellite plans, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

The telco has added a tab to its website named ‘Telstra Satellite Internet’, where you can check your home address eligibility. I can get it at my inner-city address, but I’m not particularly interested, as I prefer the much lower latency of a fixed-line connection for video games.

You’ll need the satellite dish to have a clear view of the sky, and it’ll need to run to the included Starlink modem, which runs to your Telstra modem.

Telstra is currently offering a single Starlink satellite plan, and it’s honestly not the most impressive deal.

For $125 per month, on top of the $599 cost of a Starlink satellite kit (you can BYO if you somehow have one), users get… 50Mbps download and 10Mbps upload, with unlimited data and free delivery. That month-to-month cost is cheaper than the plan offered direct from Starlink, but you’ll be getting a slower speed (residential Starlink plans are reportedly capable of 20mbps to 100mbps speeds, with an Australian median speed measured by Ookla at 106mbps, though power user plans can surpass this, and users have reported speeds well above 100Mbps, and up to beyond 200Mbps, on the standard plan).

That might not seem great – for the same price on a fixed-line connection, you could easily get speeds that dwarf it, but again, this is for remote and rural users – not for people with fast fixed-line addresses.

The plans also come with VOIP capability, so you can connect your home phone. There’s also a Telstra Smart Modem 3 included with the Starlink kit. This modem can switch over to 4G if the satellite internet drops out (at a max speed of 25Mbps).

If you live in the inner city – probably not. It’s not really for you. If you live outside of those, then it’s worth considering, though customers would certainly save money on a Skymsuter plan or a fixed wireless plan (note that Telstra doesn’t sell plans on Skymuster). The plan speeds and the Telstra name might be attractive, but it’s obviously worth considering your options here.

If Starlink isn’t what you were expecting, Telstra says that its 30-day return guarantee applies, and you’ll get all your money back if you return the equipment.

Additionally, as noted by Whistleout, Telstra isn’t offering professional installation just yet, but it will be coming later this year. Please don’t do your own floor, wall, or roof cabling – you’ll need a cabler if this is required. Mounts are, however, for sale.

Image: Telstra

This article has been updated since it was originally published.

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