SpaceX has apologized to customers for the delay in delivery of its Starlink internet kit.
In a message Posted on Twitter on Tuesday, November 23, SpaceX said silicon shortages over the past six months have affected its expected production rate and its ability to fulfill “many” Starlink orders.
“We apologize for the delay and are working hard across our engineering, supply chain and production teams to improve and streamline our product and factory to increase our production rates,” the company said in its message.
Online forums have a lot of posts from customers disappointed to see their shipping times drop by up to a year, with some asking not to expect deliveries until late 2022 or early 2023. Additional complaints have come from customers who noticed their shipping times were suddenly delayed by a year or more. after replying to a message Starlink is asking them on the website to update their service location on the map.
Starlink, which brings Internet to customers’ homes from SpaceX satellites stationed in low-Earth orbit, is currently available in 20 countries. In the US, people are able to pre-order the broadband service with a payment of $99. The total cost is $549 ($499 for hardware and $50 for shipping and handling), plus a monthly payment of $99 for Internet service.
Customers who have had to wait long enough for their delayed shipments can get a full refund, including their deposit.
The company said that anyone who has pre-ordered the service can check the estimated delivery time by logging into their account through the Starlink website. When a customer’s Starlink kit is ready to ship, the company will send an email confirming that it is on its way.
SpaceX said it recently released a new version of Starlink designed for high volume manufacturing. The company said the performance of the new kit is comparable to the original version and will start shipping globally next year.
SpaceX launched a beta version of Starlink in the US in October 2020. Now it serves customers in Canada, UK, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Austria, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Switzerland, Portugal, Chile, Poland. , Italy, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Sweden and Croatia, and by August had shipped to over 100,000 Starlink terminals globally.
Starlink is set to launch in 45 additional countries by the end of 2022, pending regulatory approval.
The shortage of silicon – an important component in semiconductors – has been caused by a number of issues. For example, the demand for semiconductors increased due to the coronavirus pandemic, when people rushed to buy equipment to work from home. Semiconductor factories are also closing temporarily to slow the spread of the virus and put further pressure on the supply chain to protect workers.
As a result of these pressures, SpaceX is one of many companies affected by silicon shortages around the world.