How SpaceX Starlink Will Succeed In Search

How SpaceX Starlink Will Succeed In Search

by , Staff Writer @lauriesullivan, September 13, 2023

How SpaceX Starlink Will Succeed In Search |

Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite internet division that provides high-speed internet connections, reported $1.4 billion in revenue for 2022 — up from $222 million the prior year.

Although Starlink fell short of CEO Elon Musk’s revenue predictions of a few years ago, the service has been instrumental in providing internet service for Ukraine, following Russia’s invasion, as well as many rural communities across the United States — communities that would otherwise not have access to the internet, search, and ecommerce.

SpaceX’s fleet of reusable rockets has enabled it to launch satellites faster and in greater numbers than competitors. It has around 4,700 functioning Starlink satellites in orbit, The Wall Street Journal reports — ahead of where the company thought it would be at this time.

Musk’s companies are only part of the equation to strengthen support for online search and services. The U.S. has com­mit­ted more than $60 bil­lion for the “In­ter­net for All” pro­gram, the lat­est in a se­ries of efforts by the Biden administration to bring high-speed in­ter­net to rural ar­eas and those who cannot afford service. 

Reportedly, in 2023 an estimated 27.8 million — or about 8.2% of the United States population — still does not use the internet. 

It’s not clear whether that number is related to financial considerations or infrastructure. But without the Internet, search and other types of paid and organic advertising — and social and streaming media — could not exist. And while that may seem obvious, millions of people still go without the internet — and that could become the next revenue stream. 

Wyoming laid fiber under one of these projects in many of the rural communities about an hour outside of the ski resort of Jackson Hole.

In a small but growing community called Star Valley in Wyoming, many residents still struggle with internet access — something that many take for granted. Some have turned to Musk’s Starlink service. 

Musk is sometimes described as the Steve Jobs of modern times. He has made big strides in areas ranging from digital payments to satellites to space exploration. He has changed the nature of transportation with electric vehicles, and fundamentally expanded the reach of search and the internet with Starlink. 

SpaceX, more commonly referred to as a space exploration company, sent 21 of its Starlink internet satellites to orbit in early September on top of a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It was SpaceX’s 62 orbital mission in 2023, setting a new record for most flights in a year, according to Musk. The old record was set in 2022.

The internet is still not accessible for a large part of the world, including Alaska and Montana as well as across many Indian reservations in America. And if it is accessible, typically the area only offers service from one company, and that service typically is very expensive because no competitors exist. 

There is still plenty of opportunity for growth in online advertising and media, but it requires internet access. 

Pew research from 2022 found that eight in ten adults who live in rural communities say they use the internet on at least a daily basis, compared with roughly nine in ten of those in urban areas. In addition, three in ten or more urban and suburban residents say they are online almost constantly, while about a quarter of rural residents say the same.

The placement of the satellites in the lower orbit offers Starlink the ability to transmit high-speed internet with minimal latency. The Business Standard reports that Starlink supports small satellites that are around 550 kilometres away from the earth to ensure internet speeds of up to 150 MBPS — three times the average global internet download speed. This is more than 10 times the speed in low-income countries. 

SpaceX is trying to grow its Starlink business through user kits that are available from Home Depot and Best Buy. The WSJ also reported that the company agreed to use third-party distributors to reach business clients. In July, it said Starlink was available in 60 countries.

It is difficult to imagine how different life would be without internet access and search. Artificial intelligence (AI) online would not have been possible — and advertising technology fueled by AI, search, social media, navigation and maps, digital out-of-home, and other forms of digital media could not exist — without internet access. 

Reaching millions without internet access could become the next revenue stream for thousands of companies. Starlink provides access to internet, search and ecommerce for many rural communities in the U.S. as well as in Ukraine.