SpaceX has tested the capabilities of Starlink on a JSX regional flight from Burbank to San Jose, California to see just how well the satellite internet system performs in a moving vehicle 30,000 feet in the air. As it turns out, Starlink performs admirably, providing speeds of about 100 Mbps for the plane’s passengers.
The satellite internet system’s speeds were tested by the JSX flight’s passengers through Ookla, a popular internet connection speed testing service. With 100 Mbps, the plane’s passengers were easily able to perform tasks like browse the internet, watch videos from Netflix and YouTube, and host video chats without any difficulties.
JSX is among the first airlines that opted to sign a deal with SpaceX to bring Starlink internet to its flights. Starlink, even in its current state, would be a good match for JSX’s customers, as the company provides flights in United States — in California, Florida, Texas, Nevada, New York, and Arizona.
JSX announced its Starlink deal on Twitter this past April, noting that it was bringing the “greatest Wi-Fi in the galaxy” to its flights for free later this year. Similarly, fellow airline Hawaiian Airlines announced that it was adding Starlink to some of its planes, with services expected to start around next year.
But while SpaceX has secured deals with JSX and Hawaiian, the private space company has reportedly found challenges getting deals with the United States’ largest airline providers like Delta. Earlier this year, reports emerged stating that SpaceX had pitched Starlink to four of the United States’ airline providers — but the company had been unsuccessful, according to a Bloomberg News report.
This is one of the reasons why JSX’s fight, which demonstrated Starlink’s capabilities, is a notable milestone. According to telecommunications analyst Roger Entner, JSX could be a proof of concept of sorts, as it could show that Starlink truly has the potential to revolutionize in-flight internet.
“This is a foot in the door for Starlink. This is the proof of concept. Once it works on JSX, it will work everywhere,” Entner said.