SpaceX has a major problem with its Starlink internet connections


When SpaceX’s Starlink internet service first launched in beta in 2020, many headlines were about its blazingly fast speeds.

The problem, according to new report from internet speed test site Ookla is that the more people there are on the service, the slower it seems to be.

The report, spotted by Gamer on PCfound that Starlink users in the United States and Canada experienced a sharp drop in download speed, which can likely be attributed to congestion from an increasing number of people using the service.

“Starlink speeds have declined in every country we surveyed over the past year as more users sign up for the service,” reads the Ookla report, which relies on data from Speedtest.net. Median download speeds dropped 5-54% between Q2 2021 and Q2 2022 in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany and New Zealand.

From Q1 to Q2 2022 in the United States, Starlink’s median download rate fell from over 90 megabits per second (Mbps) to around 62.5 Mbps, Gamer on PC underline. During this same period in Canada, Starlink’s download speed dropped by a similar amount, from 97.4 Mbps to 75.73 Mbps.

It’s not terrible, but it does bring some of the hype around the service – a consumer-focused package intended to fund more ambitious ventures from the Elon Musk-led space company, like colonizing Mars – back on Earth.

Interestingly, Starlink in Puerto Rico and Mexico ended up being faster than the same service in the US and Canada, and fixed broadband internet in the latter two countries was faster than satellite internet.

As Gamer on PC notes, these drops in Starlink’s download speeds come as more people use the Musk-fronted satellite internet company — and people take to social media to complain about their noticeable slow WiFi.

“I’ve been on since the beta test”, a user on the r/Starlink subreddit wrote. “It worked great at first, but now they’ve oversold cells and we have ‘peak times’ for all usable internet hours.”

“I no longer recommend [S]tarlink to anyone,” the user concluded.

In another postone user noted that their Starlink download speed had dropped to just five Mbps – well below the 60 Mbps threshold at which one can adequately stream and game.

Yet the company continues to launch constellations of satellites into low Earth orbit like candy. Maybe if the sky is congested enough, it will solve some of the congestion on the ground.

READ MORE: Starlink speeds drop dramatically in US amid congestion issues [PC Gamer]

Learn more about Starlink: Elon Musk’s Starlink Internet Dishes Attract Cats

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