Although Starlink has expanded to over 60 countries across the world, it remains inaccessible for certain customers who are located in cells that run at capacity.
As such, interested buyers who are located in waitlisted areas will have to wait for extended amounts of time, with some having placed their $99 deposit 2+ years ago!
In this article, I’ll explain all the available methods you can tap into to get Starlink sooner as well as highlight their respective pros and cons.
Where Starlink Is Waitlisted
You can check if you reside in a waitlisted area on Starlink’s availability map, which can be accessed here.
Right now, the overwhelming majority of areas awaiting their launch are located on the East Coast, Midwest, and South.
The areas that are marked in dark blue are still waitlisted. Luckily, there’s some cause for hope.
As Starlink continues to expand its satellite constellation and ground stations, consequently boosting total bandwidth, more and more locations will have their waitlist limitations lifted.
Back in late March 2023, for example, Starlink freed up capacity across most areas on the West Coast and Midwest, including Colorado, California, Oregon, and Washington.
And three months later, in June, Starlink removed the waitlist in portions of the Eastern US and Canada.
Now, only selected parts of the US (pictured above) remain waitlisted. Most or all of them will likely become available by the end of 2023 or beginning of 2024.
How Long Does It Take to Get Starlink After Deposit?
Delivery for those who are not waitlisted normally takes less than a week (and in 99 percent of cases no longer than two weeks).
Unfortunately, those on the waitlist have to be more patient. Reported waiting list times on Facebook and Reddit have reached up to two years.
However, Starlink states that it aims to provide US-wide Residential coverage by the end of 2023.
With that said, large parts of the United States and Canada remain on the waitlist for the time being.
Luckily, there are a few options to skip the queue – all of which I’ll describe below.
Solution #1: Best Effort
Your best bet at getting Starlink sooner is to subscribe to Starlink’s Best Effort option. In fact, it was specifically launched for those who have remained on a waitlist for a substantial duration of time.
Launched in August 2022, Best Effort acts as a compromise for those who can no longer wait for Starlink to arrive.
The Best Effort plan is a solution available to existing pre-order clients in zones where Residential capacity is fully utilized.
It supports standard web usage while acknowledging that Best Effort customers may experience reduced speeds due to the prioritization of Residential subscribers.
Utilizing identical equipment as the Residential service, Best Effort maintains the same monthly fee structure of $120 per month.
However, a key distinction is the ability for Best Effort users to temporarily pause their subscription, which users subscribed to Residential can’t do.
Best Effort is available to those who signed up for Starlink’s waitlist. Simply add your address data in the search box below.
Afterwards, you will be redirected to the order page where you need to fill out all remaining information. By paying the $99 deposit, you’re then being placed on Starlink’s waitlist.
From there on out, keep monitoring your emails as Starlink will send an invite to opt into Best Effort. Luckily, there’s an even faster option that allows you to skip the waitlist entirely.
Solution #2: Roam
And that option is called Roam (formerly Starlink RV). Roam, as the name suggests, allows you to use Starlink in any location that the company is licensed to operate in.
The single biggest advantage for those dying to get their hands on a Starlink kit is that Roam isn’t constrained by a waiting list.
Consequently, even if you reside in an area that currently runs at capacity, you will still be able to receive the hardware kit within 1 to 2 weeks (depending on your location).
However, that swiftness of availability does come at a literal cost. First of all, Starlink Roam is substantially more expensive, starting at $150 per month for the Regional version.
Second, you will also have to grapple with deprioritized speeds. Starlink claims that users on Best Effort and Roam can both expect download speeds of up to 50 Mbps and upload speeds of 10 Mbps.
On the other side, Roam does provide users with plenty of flexibility. First of all, you can take your dishy wherever you want to as long as the location is on the same continent you initially signed up in.
If you spend more than 2 months in another country, then Starlink requires you to change your registered service address while also adjusting pricing.
Additionally, and unlike Starlink’s Residential plan, you can pause Roam indefinitely, which means you won’t be billed.
Lastly, users subscribed to Roam can switch to Residential once additional capacity becomes available (switching from Residential to Roam is currently not possible).
Solution #3: Business
Another option that recently became available is to subscribe to Business (also commonly referred to as Priority).
While the plan is largely aimed at (small) business owners and enterprise customers, residential users can also get it.
Starlink even directly advertises the business option within its order form:
The Business tier can be ordered here. One of its biggest perks is getting access to “Priority data”, meaning you will experience the highest available speeds.
However, Priority data is limited, depending on the plan you chose, but can be topped up for an additional fee.
Solution #4: Your Neighbor
The last option essentially just boils down to luck and shouldn’t be available to most. If you have a neighbor who is willing to sell his or her kit for whatever reason, then you could simply pay them.
However, said neighbor would need to be located in close proximity to you as Starlink uses geofencing to limit the range Residential subscribers can tap into.
Please note that your neighbor won’t be able to initiate an account transfer. If he/she were to try that, then the same waitlist limitation would apply.
In summary, the most realistic options to obtain Starlink in waitlisted areas are Best Effort and Roam, each with its own advantages and limitations.
Carefully consider these options to find the most suitable and feasible solution for your needs. That said, as Starlink continues to expand its satellite constellation, new areas should eventually become available – so hang in there!