A new analysis shows how much faster Starlink got over the last year
Starlink has been equally praised in recent months for helping civilians in Ukraine and criticized for making astronomical work harder to the point it might endanger humanity.
There's no denying the experience it provides is impressive, with one user recently telling IE it allowed him to live an enviable off-grid lifestyle with 300 watts of solar energy.
Seattle-based internet performance testing firm Ookla released a new analysis on Starlink internet's speed performance, showing that the service has improved greatly in the last year.
This bodes well for Starlink customers, though SpaceX has recently urged them to appeal against a Dish Network proposal to use the 12 GHz band for terrestrial 5G, as this could make Starlink unusable for many Americans.
Starlink in the U.S. and Canada
Ookla also released a speed analysis of Starlink last year, and it now provides a new update with its Q1 2022 analysis of speeds in Europe, Oceania, North America, and South America. The new analysis provides results from 10 more countries than it did last year. SpaceX recently announced that Starlink is available in 32 countries and it will soon come to many more.
The analysis also focuses on how internet performance has changed in the U.S. and Canada over the last year, showing that median download speeds increased almost 58 percent in Canada — from 61.84 Mbps to 97.40 Mbps — and 38 percent in the U.S. — from 65.72 Mbps in Q1 2021 to 90.55 Mbps — over that time.
On the flipside, upload speeds for Starlink decreased roughly 33 percent in the U.S. — 16.29 Mbps in Q1 2021 to 9.33 Mbps in Q1 2022 — and were at least 36 percent slower in Canada — 16.69 Mbps to 10.70 Mbps. Median latency also increased a fairly negligible amount of roughly 4 ms in both countries.
Starlink provides the fastest satellite internet in various continents
Ookla's analysis also shows that Starlink in Mexico provided the fastest satellite internet in North America during Q1 2022, with a median download speed of 105.91 Mbps. This was closely followed by Starlink in Canada (97.40 Mbps) and the U.S. (90.55 Mbps).
Mexico's average fixed broadband download speed is 40.07 Mbps, meaning it's much slower than Starlink in the country. In the U.S. and Canada though fixed broadband is faster than Starlink, reaching average speeds of 144.22 Mbps and 106.86 Mbps, respectively.
In South America, the fastest satellite internet was provided by Starlink in Chile, with a median download speed of 110.49 Mbps throughout Q1 2022. Chile, however, has the second fastest fixed broadband internet in the world with a median download speed of 206.97 Mbps. The world's fastest fixed broadband internet was in Singapore with a speed of 209.21 Mbps.
Starlink in Lithuania, meanwhile, provided the fastest satellite internet in Europe during Q1 2022, with a speed of 160.08 Mbps. In fact, Ookla's analysis shows that SpaceX's internet service achieved a median download speed of 100+ Mbps in every country in Europe where it's commercially available.
Spain was the only country to have its fixed broadband beat Starlink for fastest median download speed, reaching a speed of 131.99 Mbps compared with Starlink’s 108.43 Mbps in the country. Generally speaking, upload speeds and latency in Europe trailed behind fixed broadband for satellite internet.
In Oceania, Starlink in Australia was the fastest satellite internet provider, and it recorded faster median download speeds than fixed broadband in Australia and New Zealand. In Australia, Starlink had a median download speed of 124.31 Mbps, which was a lot faster than the country's fixed broadband download speed of 50.87 Mbps for Q1 2022. In New Zealand, Starlink's median download speed was 118.70 Mbps, while its fixed broadband speed was 116.83 Mbps.
Starlink is providing a great new service to many people who previously may not have had access to high-speed internet. And it will soon face competition from the likes of Amazon, which recently penned a massive launch contract for its own Project Kuiper satellite internet constellation.
High-speed internet will continue to become more accessible and wil get cheaper with all of that competition, though the mega-constellations that make it possible could also pose major problems for the scientific community.