Data: Starlink broadband speeds improving
February 23, 2023
By Chris Forrester
Internet speeds on SpaceX’s Starlink broadband system are getting better for most users. Measurement specialists Ookla says that over the past few months connection speeds have improved – but they are still not as fast as a year ago.
An Ookla Insight blog by Josh Fomon provides analysis on Ookla’s test connections and results from six new countries, and data for Starlink in Europe and Oceania.
“As Starlink rides the wave of becoming an increasingly popular connectivity option for consumers, we’ve seen the service speed up and then slow down year-over-year in most markets. However, Q4 2022 data shows many countries are experiencing a modest rise in median download speeds when compared to Q3 2022. That’s encouraging for consumers, especially as Starlink hit over 1 million users in Q4 2022, and could be a sign that Starlink seems to be maturing its constellation’s capacity. That’s particularly intriguing as Starlink launches more next-gen satellites, which were first deployed at the tail end of Q4 2022 and will most likely show up in Q1 2023 results,” notes the blog.
But the measurements still show that Starlink’s speeds of a year ago were generally better.
“In Europe, all the countries we evaluated for y-o-y median download speeds were slower for Q4 2022 than Q4 2021 when there were fewer users on each network. Most countries showed between 10-20 per cent slower speeds in Q4 2022 than what users experienced in Q4 2021, including Ireland (at least 11 per cent slower), Austria (at least 13 per cent), Portugal (at least 14 per cent), Italy (at least 15 per cent), Germany (at least 16 per cent), and the U.K. (at least 19 per cent). Users in France saw very similar speeds y-o-y, with just a 4 percent decrease from Q4 2021 to Q4 2022, while users in Poland saw a large decrease (at least 56 per cent slower), and users in the Netherlands (at least 21 per cent) and Belgium (at least 28 per cent) saw substantial decrease during the same period,” the blog adds.
In Oceania, Starlink y-o-y results were mixed, with Starlink’s download speed in Australia 24 per cent slower in Q4 2022 than during Q4 2021, while in New Zealand it was 4 per cent faster in Q4 2022 than Q4 2021.
However, and very much in Starlink’s favour, is Ookla’s Speedtest Intelligence data which shows that Starlink outperformed fixed broadband providers over download speed in eight countries. They are: “Austria (105.67 Mbps), Belgium (104.84 Mbps), Croatia (102.99 Mbps), Czechia (64.67 Mbps), Germany (94.37 Mbps), Ireland (103.39 Mbps), Italy (101.06 Mbps), and the U.K. (96.79 Mbps). Fixed broadband providers were faster than satellite providers analyzed in Denmark, France, Netherlands, and Poland. Results were too close to call in Sweden with fixed providers at 106.73 Mbps and Starlink at 101.83 Mbps, as well as Portugal with Starlink at 108.02 Mbps and fixed broadband at 117.97 Mbps,” says Ookla.