SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service has been growing rapidly since its launch in 2020, now with more than 400,000 subscribers around the world. For those subscribers in Canada and the United States, download speeds have increased over the last year, but upload speeds have decreased.
The figures come from internet speed test company Ookla, which said median download speeds in Canada increased 58% over the last twelve months, increasing from 61.84Mbps to 97.40Mbps
In the US download speeds improved 38% from 65.72 Mbps in Q1 2021 to 90.55 Mbps in Q1 2022.
While download speeds increased, upload speeds saw a drop. According to Ookla the median upload speed decreased by 23% in Canada (16.69Mbps to 10.70Mbps) and nearly 33% in the U.S. (16.29 Mbps to 9.33 Mbps) over the same time period. On the other hand, median latency increased slightly from 51ms in Canada to 55ms and 40ms to 43ms in the US
Ookla says these changes will likely go unnoticed for most users.
Ookla also reviewed Starlink speed test data in Mexico, which interestingly outperformed both Canada and the US. The satellite internet service in Mexico was faster with a median download speed of 105.91Mbps, making it the fastest satellite internet provider in North America.
Starlink also outperformed Mexico’s fixed broadband services, which offered download speeds of 40.07Mbps.
With more users joining Starlink, the service is experiencing bottlenecks in crowded urban areas. However, the service is proving to be lifechanging for rural areas with slow and non-existent broadband internet services.
The Quebec government is helping some of their residents in underserved areas access Starlink by subsidizing their initial purchase. The Government of Canada is also providing assistance to residents of rural Manitoba to access Starlink.