SpaceX’s Starlink claims 1 million users today

Starlink reaches one million active subscribers. Good news for the company, bad for subscribers.

SpaceX announced it recently star link, its ISP, now has more than a million active subscribers. It seems that Elon Musk’s much-maligned management of Twitter hasn’t gotten enough bad press to keep the company from hitting the iconic figure.

“Starlink now has over 1 million active followers – thanks to all Starlink customers and team members who contributed to this,” the official SpaceX Twitter account wrote.

While this number is indeed impressive, this large number of Starlink subscribers is not necessarily good news for existing customers. According to an Ookla report from September, Starlink’s average download speeds have dropped significantly from a year ago in every country where the company analyzes speeds.

These initial losses are between 9 and 54%, with Ookla indicating that they may be precisely due to Starlink’s infrastructure struggling to cope with the influx of users. The service already had more than 400,000 users in May, while lower prices attracted even more subscribers.

Good news for the company, bad news for subscribers

SpaceX also announced in August a partnership with T-Mobile to allow customers’ smartphones to connect directly to Starlink satellites. A beta testing phase should take place in late 2023. This should help attract new users.

The company is aware of these declining speeds and appears to have taken steps to try to reduce both usage and latency. In its new usage rules introduced in November, SpaceX specifies that customers who exceed certain limits in the same month will have their speed capped. Users then have to pay extra to regain their normal throughput.

SpaceX now wants to launch its second generation of Starlink satellites to help handle all that traffic. But it will also be a real nightmare for astronomers, who are already worried about the pollution of the night sky caused by Elon Musk’s numerous satellites. SpaceX already has more than 3,000 satellites in orbit and plans to launch 42,000 in total. To date, “only” 12,000 have been approved.

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