Starlink satellite Internet download speeds in the US and Canada drop by double digits again

SpaceX recently ditched the unlimited data policy for its Starlink satellite Internet service and introduced a tiered system of priority, where users who consume more than 1 TB per month during peak times would be prioritized until they pay extra. The total number of US counties where Starlink had at least 10 unique users in the third quarter doubled from last year’s third quarter, but non-metro counties saw a 300% increase, indicating strong interest in the service in more rural areas. .

Still, while steadily growing Starlink subscriptions in rural areas across the U.S. show that Elon Musk’s satellite Internet has been a boon to connections there, the expansion is adding more and more users to its constellation. As a result, Starlink’s median Internet download speeds in the US fell again by 17% from the second quarter to the third quarter, according to market research company Ookla. A similar 14 percent drop was also observed in Canada.

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Starlink speeds in the US were 50 Mbps in the July quarter, while in Canada SpaceX’s satellite internet garnered 65.8 Mbps. It is several times lower than fixed broadband in these countries, but the drop is more even than Q1-Q2. In North America, Starlink was fastest in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, while in South America, Brazil and Chile.

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In some of the new countries added to Starlink’s coverage list last quarter – such as the US Virgin Islands or the Dominican Republic – its satellite internet was actually much faster than the fixed broadband services there. Even in countries like Norway, Starlink’s download speeds were at the top of its fixed broadband. Where SpaceX’s satellites can’t compete with terrestrial broadband, however, is latency, which was much higher in all countries in the third-quarter Starlink Internet speed survey.

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