SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service saw an overall increase in download speeds over the last year, with Canadians seeing a nearly 58 percent speed increase.
Based on data revealed by speed test company Ookla, Starlink’s median download speeds increased from 61.84Mbps to 97.40Mbps in Canada between Q1 2021 and Q1 2022. The U.S. saw a similar increase, going from 65.72Mbps to 90.55Mbps during the same period.
While download speeds were up, upload speeds were down. Ookla says the media upload speed decreased by 23 percent in Canada from 16.69Mbps to 10.70Mbps during the same period. Similarly, media latency increased slightly from 51ms in Canada to 55ms. Ookla says that these changes will likely be “negligible” for most users.
Ookla also included data looking at Starlink in other regions, and in North America overall. Interestingly, Starlink was faster in Mexico than in Canada and the U.S. with a median download speed of 105.91Mbps. Starlink handily outperformed the roughly 40Mbps median download speed for fixed broadband services in Mexico.
In Canada, Starlink had slightly slower median download speeds than fixed broadband providers, which had a median speed of 106.86Mbps.
Overall, the data looks good for Starlink. Sure, it may not be the fastest, but for many people living in rural areas, the service is a game-changer. Starlink’s average speeds are competitive with average fixed broadband services, while also having much great reach in rural areas where there may not be fast or reliable broadband available.
As such, it’s not surprising to see that Canadians are increasingly relying on Starlink. The Quebec government, for example, started a program to subsidize the cost of Starlink for select rural households, while the federal government used the service to connect homes in rural Manitoba. Of course, there’s competition brewing too: Amazon recently applied to bring its Kuiper satellite internet project to Canada.