The Government of Quebec has allocated a portion of funding in its rural broadband connectivity programme for subsidising SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service for 10,200 ‘hard-to-reach’ homes. A CAD9.5 million (USD7.4 million) subsidy is being offered for purchasing hardware for the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite service, currently costing a one-off CAD759 for a dish and router.
Similarly, the Government of Canada is providing CAD1.04 million funding for connecting 1,162 homes in four rural Manitoba communities to high speed internet via Starlink. The investment in St. Laurent, Twin Lakes Beach, Laurentia Beach and Oak Point is under the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF).
SpaceX has recently launched a Portability add-on feature for Starlink, allowing subscribers to use the service ‘temporarily’ away from their registered address across North America for an additional CAD30 per month for Canadian customers (or USD25 for US customers) on top of their standard monthly subscription fee, which is currently CAD140 per month in Canada. Starlink promises download speeds ranging up to 150Mbps or higher in Canada, although the company indicates speeds may be slower whilst utilising Portability. The service does not support ‘true mobile’ or ‘in-motion use’ (e.g. in moving vehicles) yet.