Starlink ends its unlimited satellite Internet data policy as download speeds keep dropping
Starting in December 2022, Starlink satellite Internet subscribers who use more than 1TB of data per month will see their speeds throttled in peak 7AM-11PM hours. Usage in the off-peak hours of 11PM-7AM doesn't count towards the allotment, as a way to coax subscribers into moving their heavy downloads during the night time.
According to Starlink's new Fair Usage Policy that has been disseminated to North American subscribers since Friday, the excessive users will have the option to restore their Priority Access for 25 cents per gigabyte, otherwise they'll stay deprioritized on Basic Access until the end of the month.
Elon Musk's SpaceX keeps adding Starlink coverage over new countries and regions, while continuously notching new commercial customers as it got the green light to provide satellite Internet on moving vehicles like RVs, boats, yachts, or cruise ships. These new customers are starting to affect Starlink's Internet download speeds that dropped up to 54% year-on-year in Q2, while the median speed in the US fell to about 60 Mbps.
Before the big subscriber rush, Starlink had its 350 Mbps speed tier listed in the residential sector on its website, while it is now shown in the business options that are much more expensive. Starlink says that standard customers on its fixed Internet plans can expect between 20-100 Mbps speeds, while for business customers the realistic expectation numbers double to 40-220 Mbps.
Some users suggest that maintaining two Starlink satellite Internet subscriptions would now be cheaper than paying the US$0.25 per gigabyte for the next 1TB of Priority Access at the full speed possible. The end of Starlink's unlimited Internet policy was even commented on by none other than Ethereum's creator Vitalik Buterin who warned that 1TB of data per month won't be enough for the "scaling endgame" he proposed earlier in the year that could solve the Ethereum blockchain congestions.
Still, SpaceX says that less than 10% of Starlink subscribers use more than 1TB of monthly data and only they would be affected by the new Fair Usage Policy data cap.
1 TB monthly ~= 400 kB/sec, or 4.8 MB per slot. Enough for proto-danksharding, but not for the scaling endgame.— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) November 5, 2022
We do still need full danksharding with data availability sampling to make node running viable in the long term. https://t.co/FAX59yyU0G