How fast is Elon Musk’s Starlink?

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Although Starlink is now faster than ever, will rural internet customers find it sufficient?

(Image credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX has continued to increase the number of low-earth orbit satellites that make up its Starlink satellite internet service since it launched in public beta back in November 2020 in an effort to offer high-speed internet to people throughout the world.

The maker of the well-known speed testing tool, Ookla, recently reevaluated Starlink’s download and upload speeds to determine whether they had improved over the previous year in the United States, Canada, and other nations.

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In the first quarters of 2021 and 2022, media download speeds for Starlink in the United States and Canada have significantly increased, according to a recent blog post(opens in new tab) from the network intelligence company. While service speeds increased by 38 percent in the US, they increased by roughly 58 percent in Canada within the same time frame. Users of Starlink in the US can anticipate speeds of about 90.55 Mbps, while those in Canada can anticipate speeds of about 97.40 Mbps.

While Starlink’s download speeds have grown, upload speeds have declined by approximately 33%, from 16.29 Mbps in the first quarter of last year to 9.33 Mbps in the first quarter of 2022, according to Ookla’s Speedtest Intelligence. While these adjustments are probably insignificant to the majority of users, Starlink’s median latency increased from 51 ms to 55 ms in Canada and from 40 ms to 43 ms in the United States at the same time.

Starlink speeds around the world

While Starlink adoption has expanded outside of the US and Canada, service speeds have improved overall, as Ookla notes in its study.

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With a median download speed of 105.91 Mbps in Mexico, Starlink had the fastest satellite internet in North America during the first quarter of this year, followed by Starlink in Canada and the U.S. HughesNet, on the other hand, claimed first place in Puerto Rico with download speeds of 20.54 Mbps.

However, Starlink was the fastest satellite internet service provider in Europe, offering median download rates of more than 100 Mbps in every nation where it was commercially accessible. Starlink achieved download rates of 160.08 Mbps in Lithuania, however its UK counterpart only managed 102.21 Mbps, which is still quite fast.

The same is true for South America, where Starlink, with a median download speed of 110.49 Mbps, was the fastest satellite internet service provider in Chile. Australia and New Zealand both saw download rates of 118.70 Mbps and 124.31 Mbps from Starlink in Oceania.

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The sky is about to get a bit more crowded 

Before satellite internet became widely accessible, getting high-speed internet in rural places was fairly challenging. However, with solutions like Starlink, HughesNet, Viasat, and others, you can still get good internet service even if your neighborhood lacks the required infrastructure.

Ookla points out that other firms are attempting to compete with SpaceX in space as a result of Starlink’s recent success. For instance, the FCC recently granted Amazon’s Project Kuiper permission to test its own satellite internet service, which is scheduled to go live later this year. By 2023, Inmarsat and Viasat will merge(opens in new tab) and start launching new constellations of satellites.

Consumers should anticipate faster speeds, better coverage, and possibly even lower costs since entrants like Amazon may try to undercut Starlink to increase their own market share now that competition in the satellite internet field is heating up.

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