SpaceX to Launch Starshield to Support Government Security Efforts

It's an offshoot of Starlink's satellite broadband service, but for governments and their needs.

David Anders Senior Writer
David Anders is a senior writer for CNET covering broadband providers, smart home devices and security products. Prior to joining CNET, David built his industry expertise writing for the broadband marketplace Allconnect. In his 5 plus years covering broadband, David's work has been referenced by a variety of sources including ArcGIS, DIRECTV and more. David is from and currently resides in the Charlotte area with his wife, son and two cats.
Expertise Broadband providers, Home internet, Security Cameras
David Anders
A SpaceX craft sits on the launchpad.
Getty Images

Elon Musk's SpaceX has created a satellite network specifically for government use called Starshield to aid in national security efforts, according to a recently published SpaceX webpage.

According to SpaceX, the program will use Starlink technology, which delivers high-speed internet to consumers and businesses via thousands of low-orbiting satellites. The satellites are capable of bringing broadband internet to underserved areas minus the high latency and data restrictions that come with traditional, geostationary satellite internet services.

Starshield will be more than your above-average, internet-delivering fleet of satellites, however. While communications is identified as one of Starshield's three main focuses, SpaceX also aims to provide Earth observation and payload carrying services. 

The new service also promises to "meet the most demanding government requirements" when it comes to security and offer a "unique versatility to users" thanks to satellites that are "capable of integrating a wide variety of payloads."

It's unclear if any Starshield satellites are already in orbit, when the service will be available or which governments or military forces might use Starshield. The bottom of the webpage mentions SpaceX's "ongoing work" with the US Defense Department and includes an image of a US flag. But there is no other reference to the US on the page.

SpaceX didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.