SpaceX’s Starlink is still expanding its constellation of Internet satellites and the service is only intended for use in the specific location where the user is registered. But as we noted earlier this month, for an extra $25 per month, users can take their dish elsewhere every now and then with the service’s new “portability” feature.
That package of portability still requires you to have home service first, and it warns users that they will no longer be prioritized if they are not at home. But if you’re a vanlifer or RV enthusiast willing to buy a dish without a “home” address with priority service, you can now sign up with Starlink for RVs and grab a dish for entry. You don’t have to wait, although it’s worth noting that the service isn’t set up to work while it’s on the move and, like Elon Musk helpful mentionsthe antenna is a bit too big for your car.
Of course, as seen in the Starlink subreddit, not everyone is happy that Starlink has offered a no-wait option for RVs, even if some fans who signed up for home service have ship dates that won’t be until 2023.
Taking that route won’t be cheap, though. Like most people in the US who live east of the Mississippi River, my home address is on the waiting list for Starlink service, but I could sign up today for a dish with $99 in discount and an estimated monthly service price of $ 110. If I choose Starlink for RVs, I can have a dish shipped to me as soon as possible, as long as I’m willing to pay the full price of $599 plus fees immediately and $135 per month for Internet service.
For my extra $25 per month, I would enjoy “best effort service” as well as the ability to pause the service for months if I don’t need it. As the Starlink for RVs FAQ explains: “Network resources always have a lower priority for users of Starlink for RVs compared to other Starlink services, resulting in poorer service and slower speeds in busy areas and during peak times. Specified speeds and uninterrupted use of the service are not guaranteed. Degradation of the service will be most extreme in “Waiting List” areas on the Starlink availability map during peak hours.”
That basically translates into a major warning to anyone trying to use the RV program — intended for those venturing into the wilderness where other Internet access may not be — as a way to get Starlink Internet home right now. It’s your choice, but it would cost extra and likely have slower service, making waiting seem worth it.