Starlink is getting a lot slower as more people use it, speed tests show


Starlink’s median obtain speeds within the US dropped from 90.6Mbps to 62.5Mbps between the primary and second quarters of 2022, in line with Ookla speed tests. Starlink’s median add speeds within the US dropped from 9.3Mbps to 7.2Mbps in the identical timeframe.

Median latency additionally acquired a little worse for Starlink’s US prospects, rising from 43 ms to 48 ms. The newest numbers are in Ooka’s Q2 2022 report on Starlink speeds around the globe, launched Tuesday. “Starlink speeds decreased in every country we surveyed over the past year as more users sign up for service,” this week’s report mentioned. The Q1 report is out there right here.

The Q2 report notes important year-over-year decreases in Starlink speeds in quite a few international locations, whereas mentioning that general efficiency is nonetheless fairly good:

Speedtest Intelligence reveals that median obtain speeds for Starlink fell throughout Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, the UK, and the US, dropping between 9 % and 54 % from Q2 2021 to Q2 2022 as more customers signed up for the service. However, Starlink nonetheless reached a median obtain speed of no less than 60Mbps in North America throughout Q2 2022, which is more than sufficient for no less than one related machine to do most the whole lot on the Internet together with streaming video, downloading video games, and chatting on video with family and friends.

Upload speeds additionally slowed on Starlink, with speeds lowering throughout the entire international locations we have tracked over the previous yr. Latency fared a little higher with latency remaining comparatively flat (although excessive when in comparison with fastened broadband) in most international locations. New Zealand was the outlier, with latency dropping 23 ms. For most customers, we nonetheless suspect these dips are nonetheless worthwhile for areas that don’t have any service, sluggish service, or few inexpensive choices for quick Internet.

A yr in the past, in Q2 2021, Ookla reported Starlink median obtain speeds within the US of 97.2Mbps, uploads of 13.9Mbps, and latency of 45 ms. On its web site, Starlink says customers ought to count on obtain speeds of fifty to 200Mbps, add speeds of 10 to 20Mbps, and latency of 20 to 40 ms.

FCC cited Ookla tests when denying Starlink grant

Ookla studies, based mostly on user-initiated speed tests, had been cited by the Federal Communications Commission final month when it rejected Starlink’s utility to obtain $885.51 million in broadband funding that had been tentatively awarded throughout then-Chairman Ajit Pai’s tenure. The FCC mentioned it doubts whether or not Starlink can present the grant’s required speeds of 100Mbps downloads and 20Mbps uploads.

“We observe that Ookla data reported as of July 31, 2022 indicate that Starlink’s speeds have been declining from the last quarter of 2021 to the second quarter of 2022, including upload speeds that are falling well below 20Mbps,” the FCC mentioned on the time. Ookla, a personal firm, operates a broadly used speed testing service and boasts that its knowledge is typically utilized by authorities and regulatory our bodies. 

The FCC’s doubts are additionally fueled by what the company referred to as Starlink’s “recognized capacity constraints.” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has acknowledged Starlink’s capability limits a number of occasions, for instance, saying the satellite tv for pc service will face “a challenge [serving everyone] when we get into the several million user range.” Starlink had almost 500,000 customers in 32 international locations, in line with a SpaceX presentation Musk posted on his Twitter account in early June.

This month, Starlink requested the FCC to reverse the grant determination and award the funding, saying the company “relied on unauthorized outside speed tests.” Starlink additionally mentioned speeds would enhance as it launches more satellites. “First, the Ookla data covers a period of time more than three years before SpaceX’s first mandatory deployment milestone in 2025. But by 2025, the Starlink Network will have substantially more capacity than it did at the time of the speed tests in question,” the SpaceX division informed the FCC.

Starlink has more than 3,000 satellites in orbit to this point. The Internet supplier has FCC permission to deploy almost 12,000 satellites, together with these already being operated, and is in search of authorization to launch tens of 1000’s ultimately.

Users complain of slowing speeds

In addition to speed tests, anecdotal proof suggests Starlink slowed down as the variety of customers grew. A PCMag article in July quoted a number of customers complaining about speeds, together with a Texas person who “encountered download rates on his Starlink dish that can dive as low as 1Mbps, especially during the evenings.” More customers complained of slowdowns in threads on the Starlink subreddit.

Despite the proof of Starlink getting slower, Ookla’s second-quarter knowledge exhibits it clearly outperforms Viasat and HughesNet satellite tv for pc companies which have decrease speeds and far worse latency. In the US, Viasat posted median obtain speeds of 23.7Mbps, add speeds of two.8Mbps, and 631 ms latency. HughesNet was measured at 22.6Mbps downloads, 2.5Mbps uploads, and 716 ms latency.

Wireline broadband is nonetheless the very best. Overall, fastened broadband companies within the US posted median obtain speeds of 150.1Mbps, uploads of 21.5Mbps, and 14 ms latency, the Q2 Ookla report mentioned.

From the start, it was clear that Starlink is most acceptable for people who do not have a strong cable or fiber connection of their properties. The latest knowledge does not change that general conclusion, however Starlink customers who’re getting slower-than-expected speeds have good cause to be pissed off.


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