Starlink Internet bundled by carrier in a first for rural coverage in Australia
In a first partnership of the kind, a carrier will expand its rural coverage by offering Starlink satellite Internet services via its official sales channels and with technical as well as customer service support. The move by Telstra Australia aims to provide adequate rural Internet coverage for its customers in the giant open space that is the Aussie bush, but also to break the near monopolistic hold of rural Internet provider NBN there by offering faster speeds.
SpaceX recently tried to wiggle into the rural Australian Internet coverage game by offering its Starlink equipment at a huge discount compared to its normal price. Instead of AUD$924, customers in "select rural areas of Australia" can now pay just AUD$199, a nearly 80% discount. SpaceX is often running such promos in various locations, but such an aggressive equipment price cut is rather unprecedented.
Under the terms of the deal with Telstra, the carrier will provide not only Starlink technical installation help, but also troubleshooting and customer service support. The satellite Internet offer for rural Australia will come bundled with Telstra phone service as well.
Telstra customers in remote areas of Australia will be able to sign up for the Starlink satellite Internet coverage in its stores or online later this year when the phone bundle becomes officially available and its pricing is announced. On last count, Starlink offered 106.43 Mbps median speed that is faster than fixed broadband in Australia, so Telstra may have taken note and decided that it will be more beneficial to start offering satellite Internet service directly as SpaceX keeps adding capacity.