Elon Musk's Starlink company plans to be able to provide usable Internet across the entire world. To do this, the company is making a robust satellite ecosystem in the Earth’s orbit to increase speeds. As it turns out, that ecosystem is getting much faster.
With more than 1,500 satellites currently in orbit, Starlink is starting to ramp up in speed. Furthermore, the technology is actually seeing a massive improvement in connection latency, a must for gaming or calling.
Starlink improvements over Q1 2021
In a report by Ookla, Starlink technology is starting to catch up to terrestrial connections. While the service offered commendable 65.72 Mbps speeds earlier this year, it’s already improved to 97.23 Mbps.
There are other satellite Internet companies out there. However, they pale in comparison. HughesNet is far behind at just 19.73 Mbps; Viasat is at a close third at 18.13 Mbps. Both of these competitors are barely usable for most consumers.
In terms of upload speeds, Musk's company is also far ahead of the competition with 13.89 Mbps median connection. Viasat is in a far second place at 3.38 Mbps whereas HughesNet slumps into third with 2.43 Mbps.
Latency follows a similar trend. At 45ms, Starlink takes a gigantic lead. In second place, Viasat offers 630ms latency. Lastly, HughesNet falls to an even more laggy 724ms.
Rivaling terrestrial broadband
Starlink’s median speeds are starting to rival that of ground-based Internet. The Ookla report compared the satellite Internet’s speed against the median speeds for terrestrial connections in the United States.
While Starlink does fall behind ground connections at the time of writing, it's very close. Musk's company is just 18 Mbps behind in download speeds, and just over 3 Mbps behind in upload. The biggest gulf is in latency; 45ms on Starlink compared to 14ms on land.
Starlink is faster in some areas
In some areas, the Musk-owned Internet company is far faster than local Internet in terms of download speeds. In Canada, download is just 2 Mbps faster, but countries France and Germany have faster speeds by around 69 Mbps.
In the United Kingdom, Starlink dominates in all but latency. The median download speeds terrestrially comes in at 50.14 Mbps whereas satellite speed comes in at 108.30 Mbps. Only latency is behind at 37ms compared to 15ms.