Elon Musk’s satellite internet company is going to slow down the speed of some users.
According to Starlink’s (the Internet division of SpaceX) new fair usage policyPeople using Starlink for home internet may now experience throttling if they use too much internet during the monthly billing cycle. In case you didn’t know, throttling is the practice of deliberately slowing down one’s internet speed for the benefit of overall network performance.
Notably, users who cumulatively use more than 1TB of data between 7 AM to 11 PM during a month will be throttled. If they want to continue getting the higher speeds before the next billing cycle starts, they can shell out $0.25 per GB of data, but otherwise, it’s going to be a one-way trip to slow town for them. Starlink says less than 10 percent of current users exceed 1TB per month ledge,
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Still, it’s not impossible to imagine using more than 1TB of data in a month if you live a certain lifestyle. Gamers, in particular, regularly deal with game and patch downloads that can reach up to 100GB or more. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, for example, is about 100GB of download by itself. In other words, it’s probably a good idea to hold off on any large downloads until after 11 p.m.
This is not a very uncommon practice in the ISP world. some providers There are monthly data caps under some plans like AT&T. Depending on the provider, you may be throttled or charged an overage fee for any data used after exceeding the cap.
As Starlink grows, it’s naturally going to hit something similar to the same speeds that other ISPs hit. a recent report From September found that median Starlink speeds had fallen in many countries, possibly as a result of network congestion as the service became more popular. Now, Starlink is deliberately slowing people down.
Such is life with new, experimental technology.