Starlink Moves Closer to Matching or Even Beating Fixed Broadband Speeds

The median download speeds for Starlink—SpaceX’s satellite internet network—are starting to rival the speeds you’d get from land-based broadband providers, according to Ookla, the company behind Speedtest

On Wednesday, Ookla published a report looking at Starlink internet speeds in Q2 by analyzing Speedtest scores from its users. In the US, Starlink’s median download speeds reached 97.2Mbps, up from 65.7Mbps in Q1. 

The Starlink download rate is not far from the 115.2Mbps median download speeds Ookla logged for US-based fixed broadband providers during Q2. (The upload rate is also not far behind either.)

Depending on where you’re based in the US, a user’s Starlink speed could already be exceeding 115Mbps. For example, the highest Starlink median download speed, at 168Mbps, was found in Morgan County, Alabama. The slowest speed, at 64.5Mbps, was in Madison County, Indiana.

Ookla map of Starlink availability across the uS

In PCMag’s annual Fastest ISPs rankings, published in June, we got enough responses to assign Starlink a 70.8 PCMag Speed Index rating (which combines 80% of the download number and 20% of the upload). That’s 4.3 times faster than the next satellite internet provider, Viasat. And it’s not far below a major cable company—Spectrum earned a 101.1 nationwide.

International Speed Boost

In other countries on a national basis, Starlink is already far exceeding the median download speeds for fixed broadband providers. Ookla noticed this trend in Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, and the UK. 

Ookla Canada data for Starlink

Ookla France data for Starlink

Ookla German data for Starlink

Ookla New Zealand data for Starlink

Ookla UK data for Starlink

“Starlink showed a much faster median download speed in the UK during Q2 2021 (108.30Mbps) than the country’s average for fixed broadband (50.14Mbps),” Ookla said. “This brings Starlink closer to contender status for consumers across the UK, not just those stranded in internet-free zones in Northern Scotland.”

That said, it’s important to note Starlink isn’t flawless. The service, which is technically still in beta, can sometimes suffer from brief outages, according to users. Nevertheless, the data from Ookla shows SpaceX is making progress to boost the broadband quality over the network, which is now serving 90,000 users across 12 countries. 

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Ookla data

“Critically, Starlink was the only satellite internet provider with a median latency that was anywhere near that seen on fixed broadband in Q2 2021 (45 ms and 14 ms, respectively),” Ookla added. 

SpaceX is taking orders for Starlink at the company’s official website. The service costs $99 per month, and $499 one-time fee for the equipment. Unfortunately, Starlink remains limited in its availability. Over 500,000 people are waiting to try out the service after placing their pre-orders. 

(Disclosure: Ookla is owned by PCMag parent company, Ziff Davis.)

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