Starlink caps high-speed data at 1TB per month, lowers advertised speeds

SpaceX plans to limit residential Starlink subscribers to 1TB of high-speed data per month in an effort to reduce network congestion.

SpaceX quietly revealed the plan on Friday by publishing a “Fair Use Policy(Opens in a new window)” for the popular satellite internet service. The document states that Starlink subscribers in the US will receive “Priority Access” worth 1 TB per month. The company has also uploaded the same fair use policy(Opens in a new window) for subscribers in Canada.

Once the limit is exceeded, the subscriber will be downgraded to “Basic Access,” meaning SpaceX can begin reducing speeds if necessary to reduce network congestion.

“For residential service plans, your data usage will only count towards the Priority Access data limits outlined in the chart below during 7am to 11pm (Peak Hours),” the document adds.

picture

(Credit: Starlink.com)

The change will most affect data-hungry customers living in congested areas that are already crowded with existing Starlink subscribers. SpaceX did not disclose expected speeds for Basic Access. However, the document warns: “During periods of network congestion, users with Basic Access may experience slower speeds and reduced performance compared to Priority Access, which may result in the degradation or unavailability of certain third-party services or applications. Bandwidth-intensive applications such as video streaming are more likely to be affected.”

However, residential subscribers can get more priority access — if they pay. SpaceX is going to charge customers $0.25 for each additional GB taken through the higher speed tier. To track their monthly data usage and opt-in for the additional priority access, customers will be able to tap on the Starlink app and the company’s customer portal page.

SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment, making it unclear when the high-speed data caps will roll out. However, the upcoming change promises to restore broadband quality on Starlink when some users in the US are experiencing drastically slower speeds.

“Starlink is a finite resource that will continue to grow as we launch additional satellites,” the company wrote in the policy document. “To serve the largest number of people with high-speed internet, we need to manage the network to balance Starlink supply with user demand.”

The same document also notes that Starlink residential customers will receive the priority access level, but not subscribers to the Starlink RV and Starlink Best Effort plans. These users will have to settle for the slower speeds.

Recommended by our editors


Reduced advertised speeds across the board

picture

The new official speeds for Starlink. (Credit: Starlink.com)

But in some bad news for all users, SpaceX has reduced the advertised speeds for Starlink, according to newly released specifications(Opens in a new window). It now shows that expected download speeds for Starlink residential users will only range from 20 to 100 Mbps, a significant drop from 50 to 200 Mbps. Advertised latency and uploads have also been reduced.

Meanwhile, download speeds for Starlink RV and Best Effort now range from 5 to 50 Mbps, down from the previous rates of 5 to 100 Mbps.

picture

Previous advertised speeds for Starlink.com (Credit: Starlink.com)

The company is also introducing priority access for Starlink business and mobility users, which includes Starlink Maritime and purchasers of the new Starlink mobile dish. For these customers, SpaceX imposes three different tiers for the high-speed data cap, while also charging them more to download additional data.

As you can see, the caps for Starlink Business are 500GB, 1TB or 3TB per month. Once the cap is exceeded, the company can reduce speeds to 1Mbps. For higher priority access, customers must pay $1 for each additional GB used. Meanwhile, customers on Starlink mobility plans have to pay $2 for each additional GB used.

picture

(Credit: Starlink.com)

What’s New Now<\/strong> to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning.”,”first_published_at”:”2021-09-30T21:30:40.000000Z”,”published_at”:”2022-08-31T18:35:24.000000Z”,”last_published_at”:”2022-08-31T18:35:20.000000Z”,”created_at”:null,”updated_at”:”2022-08-31T18:35:24.000000Z”})” x-show=”showEmailSignUp()” class=”rounded bg-gray-lightest text-center md:px-32 md:py-8 p-4 mt-8 container-xs”>

Get our best stories!

Sign up What’s new now? to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning.

This newsletter may contain advertisements, promotions or affiliate links. Signing up for a newsletter indicates your agreement to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from newsletters at any time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *