High-speed broadband can be achieved more safely and securely with hardwired internet connections rather than via broadband satellites or other wireless infrastructure. Nevertheless, despite opposition and warnings even from satellite companies themselves (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continues to approve the launching tens of thousands of satellites for broadband. At least the agency isn’t necessarily funding all of them anymore – including SpaceX’s Starlink. Of course earlier this year 40 of the company’s satellites fell from orbit and burned. Additionally, last month a U.S. scientist warned that incoming solar storms could destroy more satellites. More recently a new study revealed that Starlink’s service is slowing down.
“Some speeds have shown signs of slowing down from their initial launches,” Ookla says of Starlink service
Starlink’s commercial success is causing network slowdowns, benchmarking company Ookla concludes in new analysis, as new customers result in a heavier network load and slower speeds for the Low-Earth Orbit-based internet service, compared to its performance a year ago.
“Starlink speeds decreased in every country we surveyed over the past year as more users sign up for service,” Ookla said. It looked at Starlink performance in Europe, Oceania, North America and South America, including eight additional countries and “expanded data” compared to its previous looks at satellite internet providers’ services.
The drop in median download speed was between 9% to 54% when comparing performance from the second quarter of 2021 to the second quarter of 2022. That was reflected in Starlink service in Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S., Ookla reported. Uplink speeds were also slower, while latency was mostly flat. (Read Ookla’s analysis here.)
However, it noted, “Starlink still reached a median download speed of at least 60 Mbps in North America during Q2 2022, which is more than enough for at least one connected device to do most everything on the internet including streaming video, downloading games, and chatting on video with friends and family. … For most users, we still suspect these dips are still worthwhile for areas that have no service, slow service, or few affordable options for fast internet.”
Read More: New Report Reveals Starlink Satellites’ Broadband Speed Is Slowing Down Everywhere