June 7, 2023

California Highway Patrol Officer T. Caton

A California Highway Patrol official stopped a vehicle Friday with a satellite dish attached to the hood of the car, and the device appeared to be one of SpaceX’s Starlink antennas.

“Sir, I stopped you today because of this obstruction on your hood. Antelope Valley’s CHP wrote about the incident in a Facebook post.

CHP added that the driver replied, “Only when I turn right.”

California Highway Patrol Officer T. Caton

A law enforcement official told CNBC that the driver who drove a Toyota Prius had received a parking ticket for a moving violation. The motorist told CHP that he used the antenna to get Wi-Fi service for a business he does from the car.

SpaceX did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

The contents of the Starlink customer kit, which includes the satellite antenna, stand, its power adapter, and a wireless router.


Starlink is the company’s capital-intensive project to build an interconnected Internet network of thousands of satellites, known in the aerospace industry as the Constellation, to deliver high-speed Internet to consumers around the world.

The “Starlink kit” sent to customers comprises four essential parts: the end device (also called antenna), a tripod holder, a WLAN router and a power supply unit. SpaceX also offers mounting options on the roof for an additional charge.

SpaceX first rolled out the service last October with a beta program for select consumers for $ 99 per month, and last year sought regulatory approval to test the network in-flight and the service on large moving vehicles like ships and trucks – but the antenna for vehicles is likely to look slightly different from the dish currently being broadcast to users at home.

Elon Musk noted earlier this week that SpaceX now has approximately 70,000 active Starlink users and could grow to “potentially over 500,000 users within 12 months.”

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