Starlink exits its beta phase, but its production is affected by the global chip shortage

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SpaceX recently introduced some updates to its official Starlink website. And while the private space company formally dropped the “Beta” wording for its satellite internet service, SpaceX also warned customers that the ongoing worldwide chip shortage is delaying orders. 

The potential delays resulting from the chip shortage were outlined by SpaceX in Starlink’s new Support/FAQ section. As noted in a PCMag report, the new section was added to the official Starlink website last Thursday night. “Silicon shortages have delayed production which has impacted our ability to fulfill orders. Please visit your Account page for the most recent estimate on when you can expect your order to be fulfilled,” SpaceX wrote. 

The ongoing chip shortage has adversely affected numerous industries worldwide, so it is not surprising that SpaceX’s production of its Starlink kits is seeing some delays as well. That being said, Elon Musk-led companies have a pretty good track record with regards to handling the chip shortage crisis, with EV maker Tesla weathering the ongoing supply issues better than its peers from traditional auto. 

Interestingly enough, SpaceX’s recent updates to the Starlink website also indicated that the satellite internet system had exited its beta phase. This is in line with CEO Elon Musk’s estimates back in September, when he noted that Starlink would likely exit its beta in October. With the beta now done, Starlink’s advertised speeds have also been updated, with the service’s website now stating that customers could expect “download speeds between 100Mbps and 200Mbps and latency as low as 20ms in most locations.”

SpaceX had previously listed Starlink’s estimated speeds at “50Mbps to 150Mbps and latency from 20ms to 40ms in most locations.” 

It should be noted that the Starlink website now includes some new fun sections on its FAQ page. As could be seen in a section describing the circumstances when Starlink could be used, SpaceX made it a point to note that the satellite internet service is not designed for potentially apocalyptic events or extinct creatures. “Starlink is not designed to handle hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, meteors, dinosaurs, or other extreme forces of nature,” the new Starlink FAQ noted. 

On a more serious note, Starlink’s expected shipment times have been pushed to late 2022 or early 2023 in some parts of the United States. That being said, the Starlink website still reports expected service times of “early to mid-2022” in other areas, however. 

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Starlink exits its beta phase, but its production is affected by the global chip shortage
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