Starlink Performance Dips in US, Ookla Study Finds

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Written By Viktor

Product manager by day, Starlink enthusiast by night.

Based on the latest report from Ookla, Starlink’s performance in the third quarter of 2023 shows a mixed but generally positive picture.

While there has been a slight decrease in median download speeds for US users compared to the second quarter of the year, Starlink continues to outperform its satellite-based competitors and even surpasses wireline networks in some countries.

In the United States, during Q3 2023, Starlink’s median download speed was slightly reduced to 64.54 Mbps.

This decrease could be attributed to the addition of more customers to the network. In 2023, Starlink has expanded into 23 new markets, made its Residential tier available across the US, and introduced a hardware rental option for businesses in Australia, Canada, and the US.

That said, the year-over-year comparison looks substantially better compared to the 53.00 Mbps it recorded in Q3 2022.

Plus, the recent months are clearly looking more positive:


This is particularly surprising given that weather conditions in large parts of the US worsen around this time of the year, leading to an influx of bandwidth demand.

That network bandwidth would consequently have to be shared with more users (plus the ones who joined as part of the whitelisting of Residential as well as the hardware rental option).

Meanwhile, median upload speeds remain on an upward trajectory as well, equaling 9.72 Mbps, while median multi-server latency reached a low of 60 ms.

Despite these decreases, Starlink’s performance remains significantly ahead of other satellite providers like HughesNet and Viasat, which recorded median speeds of 15.87 Mbps and 34.72 Mbps, respectively.

Ironically, as more customers switch from competing GEO-based services like HughesNet to Starlink, they inadvertently help increase HughesNet’s performance by freeing up capacity for its remaining users.

In other news, the FCC is proposing to redefine broadband as 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload speeds, up from the current 25 Mbps/3 Mbps.

This change could challenge Starlink and other providers to meet these new standards – and thus potential access to government subsidies.

Ookla’s report also highlights Starlink’s expansion and upcoming challenges. With over 5,000 satellites in orbit, Starlink is poised to further expand its footprint into Africa, Asia, and South America.

In summary, while Starlink has experienced some fluctuations in speed, its overall performance remains strong, especially in comparison to other satellite internet providers.

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