Starlink Satellite Service Showing its Age

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The June 2022 Ookla data tries to spin a rosy picture of SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet performance since its November 2020 public beta launch. While early Starlink users once swooned over the service because they had the only dish in town, they now find their once-speedy connections slowly sliding back to DSL/basic cable-esque performance with more people on the system. The performance slide comes at a time when SpaceX is trying to get its next-generation Starship off the ground, the only rocket capable of carrying its satellites in sufficient quantities. Starlink upload speeds have taken a dramatic hit, per the Ookla report. “Speedtest Intelligence … showed that upload speeds for Starlink decreased at least 33 percent in the US (16.29 Mbps in first quarter 2021 to 9.33 Mbps in first quarter 2022) and at least 36 percent in Canada (16.69 Mbps to 10.70 Mbps) during the same time period,” it reads. A lot of fiber can (and will) be deployed in the years it takes the SpaceX Starlink system to even get close to its promises. Individuals, communities, and states need to avoid the mistakes of the past where they are locked into wireless technologies that will be playing catchup to available future-proof fiber solutions and require multiple equipment upgrades.

[Doug Mohney is director of content at Connect2 Communications.]

Starlink Satellite Service Showing its Age (Already)