As recognized on multiple occasions by Elon Musk, the Ground Segment, lowering end user terminal costs is probably “the most difficult technical challenge” Starlink is facing. In fact, this is the key to unlocking the Consumer Broadband market, not just for Starlink but for all the LEO constellations. The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) won.
The Star Online: New Space Race to bring Satellite Internet to the World. “The challenge in monetizing is being able to get through those first few years, where you have to put in all your capital expenses, but not being able to get enough revenues to keep you afloat,”
NSR quoted in Forbes article “Is SpaceX’s Satellite Internet Project In Trouble?” by Alex Knapp: A report from Northern Sky Research suggests such networks in lower orbits could be pulling in over $4 billion annually in revenue by 2027.
“They are almost disposable….. their operational life expectancy is about seven years and they can be easily replaced. In the coming months, Private Sector firms, SpaceX and the startup, OneWeb want to send into orbit constellations of small satellites that will provide internet access.