SpaceX has made some important changes to its Starlink satellite internet service, changing their minds on a plan to impose a monthly high-speed data cap on subscribers as part of its Fair Use Policy.
Since last year the company has been warning of impending data caps under its Fair Use Policy, but its implementation date has been pushed back several times. Most recently it said the policy would be implemented “no earlier than April 2023.” That reference has now been removed from the support site, with the policy now stating Starlink subscribers on the residential and roam tier will receive an “unlimited amount of ‘Standard’ data each month,” which it says is designed for personal, family, or household use. The price for this tier has remained unchanged.
In order to receive faster speeds, SpaceX is offering a new “Priority” tier targeted at customers who own the $2,500 high-performance Starlink dish, such as power users, businesses, and governments . The Priority plan can deliver speeds from 40Mbps up to 220Mbps or higher during times of peak usage. Getting these improved speeds will cost more than the residential package, as this package starts at $250 per month for 1TB of high-speed data, up to $1,500 per month for 4TB of data.
The removal of the high-speed data caps and the introduction of a new “Priority” tier may be part of SpaceX’s efforts to retain and attract more subscribers. The satellite internet service has grown rapidly since it launched, with the number of worldwide subscribers now well over 1 million. With that many subscribers and more congestion on the network, users in some areas have reported slower internet speeds, which has been backed up by studies conducted by Ookla.
SpaceX has been attempting to improve the capacity of the network by launching new V2 mini satellites. These new satellites, which started launching in January, will allow Starlink to provide ~4x more capacity per satellite than earlier iterations, resulting in more bandwidth with increased reliability.
Starlink now offers unlimited data on "standard" service plans! The 1Mbps cap has been removed for "priority" plans, with unlimited standard access. Mobile services also have unlimited data, and Mobile Priority requires the purchase of additional data. The data usage meter has… pic.twitter.com/erFp1XRn9o
— Nathan Owens (@VirtuallyNathan) May 2, 2023