SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet provider has introduced a cap of 1 TB for residential users in the US and Canada. Data use had been unlimited at launch, but users will now only have 1 TB of Priority Access speeds each month, after which point they will be downgraded to the slower “Basic Access” tier for the rest of the month.
Starlink noted that data used during the off-peak times (11:00 pm to 7:00 am) will not be counted toward their monthly data cap. The company is also introducing data use monitoring via user account pages so people can track how close they are to the cap.
Though Starlink’s initial launch offered customers unlimited data, it appears that the satellite internet provider’s infrastructure has not kept up with the demands of its growing number of subscribers. In Q2 of 2022, Starlink’s median download speed was measured at 62.5 Mbps, which was well below most North American fixed line broadband providers’ median speeds, and also falls short of the FCC’s 100 Mbps qualifying threshold for broadband grants.
The company claims that its speeds will increase as it launches more satellites. Yet, though Starlink will likely have success in more rural areas that are too sparsely populated to justify fiber rollout, this setback is yet another obstacle to the operator becoming a true replacement for fixed providers.