SpaceX’s Starlink claims 1 million users today

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

SpaceX recently announced that star link, its internet service provider, now has more than one million active subscribers. It looks like Elon Musk’s much-maligned management of Twitter hasn’t garnered enough bad press to prevent the company from hitting that symbolic figure.

“Starlink now has over 1 million active followers – thank you 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 are down significantly from a year ago in all countries where the company analyzes speeds.

These initial losses are between 9 and 54%, with Ookla specifying that they may precisely be due to Starlink’s infrastructure which is 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 test phase should take place at the end of 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 waits. In its new rules of use introduced in November, SpaceX specifies that customers who exceed certain limits during the same month will have their speed limited. Users will then have to pay extra to regain their normal throughput.

SpaceX now wants to launch its second-generation Starlink satellites, which should 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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