Starlink gives mixed signals on whether some pre-orders are delayed until 2023


A Starlink satellite dish.

Starlink has provided an encouraging update for precomputers that unexpectedly had their estimated delivery dates delayed until 2022 or 2023, but the Starlink website still shows delayed delivery dates to people previously told to wait for service in 2021.

As we reported Tuesday, some people who pre-ordered broadband from Starlink made minor changes to their service locations on the Starlink website and their estimated delivery dates were immediately delayed by a year or more. There were a large number of people who made these small changes because SpaceX’s satellite division urged them to use a mapping tool to ensure their location accuracy. But people said that even changes of a few feet delayed their orders from 2021 to 2022 or 2023, apparently sending them to the “end of the line.”

Starlink’s public relations division and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk did not respond to requests for comment, but a Starlink support faq later it was updated with this phrase:

Note: Orders are processed based on the date of your initial Starlink order; If you move to a new location, your place in the queue for the new location will continue to be based on the date of your initial order.

Also, a person wrote yesterday on Reddit they moved the map pin slightly and their delivery date is still showing as 2021. That suggests the issue can be resolved for new uses of the mapping tool, but we don’t recommend trying this on your own reservation until Starlink offers a clearer solution . statement on the matter.

“Still shown from early to mid 2023”

Even if the issue is fixed for small location changes that occur now and in the future, Starlink has yet to set estimated delivery dates for at least two of the people we quoted in our Tuesday article.

“I just took a look and it still shows from early to mid-2023,” Brad, a rural Washington state resident, told us. We quoted Brad in the previous article saying that his “account has always said service in late 2021 until I updated my position on the map by maybe a couple hundred feet because Google Maps had my street address for some reason, and then instantly changed in mid-2023 “.

Our Tuesday article also quoted a Reddit user by the screen name BrdwyBabe13, who wrote, “I moved [the map pin] from the end of my driveway to my house this morning and I just looked back and [the availability date] it had changed to 2022-2023. “

BrdwyBabe13’s Starlink availability date remained between 2022 and 2023 today. “I tried emailing [email protected] with no response, and even tried tweeting Elon,” BrdwyBabe13 told us today. “I had to take my daughter out of public school and start homeschooling when COVID came in solely because we didn’t have reliable internet. They offered an access point, but we don’t even have cell phone towers close enough to use a point of contact. I know I am one of the many in this situation, but we are desperate for a reliable Internet and the only option in my world is Hughesnet with about 2Mbps upstream and 4Mbps downstream most of the time trying to work from home. The date so far made me cry! “

We reached out to SpaceX today and will update this article if we get a response. The company never responded to our inquiry on Tuesday.

Starlink’s lack of communication with precomputers.

This may just be a website bug that won’t affect anyone’s actual delivery date. But the website still tells precomputers that their delivery dates have been delayed by a year or more, and Starlink hasn’t explained why that happened or if these new dates in 2022 or 2023 are accurate.

Starlink could have easily cleared up this confusion with a specific detailed statement any time this week. Instead, the ISP’s lack of communication with customers and the press means that people who saw their pre-orders delayed can only guess based on clues like the new sentence in the support FAQ.

Starlink appears to have exited beta and into general availability, but warned that the chip shortage “has delayed production, which has affected our ability to fulfill orders.” There doesn’t appear to be any connection between the chip shortage and the delivery estimate changes that occurred immediately after people updated their service locations.

Starlink’s communication with customers could improve a bit in the near future. This week, the company posted a job offer for a Starlink content manager who “will oversee the development of all customer-facing communications and support materials, and the general communications implementation plan for Starlink’s commercial and consumer lines, both nationally and internationally.” Among other things, this will include creating and distributing “customer updates to ensure awareness of network improvements and service availability” and “reference communication materials for use by sales and customer support teams. “.


arstechnica.com

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