Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Starlink offers huge hardware discount to rural users

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Price of kit slashed to $199 in nod to importance of communication in disaster events.
Leeanne Morris, Ruatoria’s emergency response co-ordinator, with a Starlink pod. Ruatoria has learnt over the course of many harsh weather events that communications are key.
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Starlink has launched a hardware discount for the New Zealand rural market, offering its standard hardware kit for $199 to those with eligible addresses.

The move comes following the dramatic loss of connectivity that many in rural areas felt when Cyclone Gabrielle hit the eastern coast of the North Island.

Starlink satellite internet ended up being used for emergency connectivity and by many personal users who had access to emergency power.

On the Starlink website, the discount is stated as being 80%, down from $1040, although it seems few buyers have paid that full price as discounts are relatively common, if not at the level of the current rural-only special.

Some members of a private Starlink users Facebook group are even considering ordering a second kit to keep as a spare, or to extend their home network.

Retailer Noel Leeming is currently selling the kit at $729, which is also the price that Starlink has set on its website for those in non-rural areas.

The monthly cost of a Starlink residential plan is currently set at $159 for unlimited data, although this is subject to change at the behest of Starlink’s parent company, SpaceX.

Starlink also offers a business plan but it requires specialist hardware that costs $4200 and comes at a higher-priced monthly plan for priority access to bandwidth that starts at $426 per month for 1 terabyte.

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