Increasingly in demand, SpaceX’s satellite internet network will apply a download limit between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. This is to trick users into moving some of their downloads (updates, etc.) overnight.
It’s not just the Ukrainian military that loves Starlink. Between maritime and air developments and deliveries of terminals to the shovel, the satellite constellation to access the Internet of SpaceX has the wind in its sails… and the infrastructure in overload. To cope with the growing demand for bandwidth, Starlink will impose a monthly daytime download limit. Rolled out globally, this limit will be 1 TB of data per month. But will be limited to a time slot from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
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Once the terabyte is exceeded, users will switch from a “Priority” type of access to a “Basic” access. A mode where speeds and latencies (data packet transmission priority) are reduced, but not cut. Between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., users will still not be subject to a download limit and all users will be considered “Priority”. Those who would be part of the 10% of users exceeding the monthly 1 TB limit and who would like to remain a priority once this limit has passed will have to pay 25 cents/gigabyte additional.
This new bandwidth usage rule appears even as terminal deliveries continue, and the average speed on the network drops. In one year, between the second quarter of 2021 and the second quarter of 2022, the average speed has dropped, depending on the country, from 9% to 54%. In the United States, Starlink’s largest market, the speed has dropped from 90.6 Mbit/s to 62.5 Mbit/s and the median latency is now 48 ms. Starlink promises that the launch of new satellites should remove these limits, but recognizes that the Internet is, by its nature of infrastructure, “a finite resource”.
At a time when Netflix accounts for 4K users abound and downloads of AAA video games over 100 GB are not uncommon, the measure should make people cringe. This is all the more so since this kind of offer is always popularized with mentions “unlimited”. To end up quickly seeing the limits.
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In France, Starlink introduced a data download limit of 250 GB last August 2022. But it seems that this limit has disappeared from the site. According to the legal data that we consulted on the French site, Starlink specifies that in France, “currently, there are no data usage limits”. In addition, the network regulation mechanism called by Starlink “Fair Use Policy” is not yet in effect for individuals: “The Fair Usage Policy does not apply to residential service plans in your country at this time. »