When SpaceX's Starlink internet service first launched as a beta in 2020, many of the headlines were about its blazingly fast speeds.
The problem, according to new report from internet speed testing site Ookla, is that the more people get on the service, the slower it seems to get.
The report, spotted by PC Gamer, found that Starlink users in the United States and Canada have seen a steep decline in their download speeds that can likely be attributed to congestion from more and more people using the service.
"Starlink speeds decreased in every country we surveyed over the past year as more users sign up for service," reads the Ookla report, which draws on data from Speedtest.net. Median download speeds dropped between five and 54 percent from Q2 2021 to Q2 2022 in the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, and New Zealand.
From Q1 to Q2 2022 in the US, Starlink's median download rate dropped from more than 90 Megabits per second (Mbps) to about 62.5 Mbps, PC Gamer pointed out. During that same period in Canada, Starlink's download speed dropped a similar amount, going from 97.4 Mbps to 75.73 Mbps.
That's not abjectly terrible, but it does bring some of the hype around the service — a consumer-oriented package meant to bankroll more ambitious ventures by the Elon Musk-led space company, like colonizing Mars — crashing back to Earth.
Interestingly, Starlink in Puerto Rico and Mexico ended up being faster than the same service in the US and Canada, and fixed broadband internet in the latter two countries was faster than satellite internet.
As PC Gamer notes, these drops in Starlink download speeds come as more and more people are using the Musk-fronted satellite internet company — and as people take to social media to complain about the noticeable slowdown of their WiFi.
"I’ve been on since beta testing," one user on the r/Starlink subreddit wrote. "It worked amazing at the beginning, but now they oversold the cells and we have 'peak hours' for all of the usable internet hours."
"I no longer recommend [S]tarlink to anyone," the user concluded.
In another post, a user noted that their Starlink download speed dropped to just five Mbps — much lower than the 60-ish Mbps threshold at which one can adequately stream and game.
Still, the company continues to throw satellite constellations up into low-Earth orbit like candy. Maybe if the sky gets congested enough, it'll solve some of the congestion down on the ground.
READ MORE: Starlink Speeds Drop Significantly in the US Amid Congestion Woes [PC Gamer]
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