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Space Exploration Technologies Corp.'s (SpaceX) satellite-based internet service Starlink continues to deliver blisteringly fast download speeds to its users. Starlink is currently in its beta rollout stage, with users across the United States signed up for the service. Internet test results of the service received by Wccftech reveal that while Starlink continues to outperform its competitors, HughesNet and Viasat, speeds continue to vary as well; an occurrence reflecting the beta nature of the rollout.
Starlink Delivers Industry Leading Download Speed For Californian User
Courtesy of a reader from Sonoma County, California who was kind enough to provide us with results of his Internet speed test results for SpaceX's service, we can take a brief look at what the service is currently capable of delivering.
The results show a varying level of scores, the lower end of which still start out higher than what SpaceX's competitors offer. Data from PCMag in October last revealed that HughesNet and Viasat were able to deliver average download speeds of ~20Mbps and ~25Mbps respectively.
Starlink, on the other hand, has more than doubled HughesNet's download speed for our Californian reader's lowest scores. Out of the six results share with us, the lowest download speed for SpaceX's satellite internet was 44Mbps - which also rose to 46Mbps and 47Mbps in subsequent tests.
In details that SpaceX shared with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in October, the company revealed that the average download speed for the service stood at 80 Mbps, having increased from 43 Mbps in September.
While the 40Mbps range is for the low end of today's test results, the high end mirrors results that we've covered before. For instance, a user in Montana shared his test results in January this year with a download speed of 190 Mbps. This result was surpassed by users in Seattle and New York earlier this week, who reported download speeds of 230 Mbps and 240 Mbps respectively.
The highest download speed that our user was able to achieve was 200 Mbps, which falls in line with what others have also reported. All these tests were carried out on an Apple iPad Mini, and the test with the highest score was conducted roughly four days after the first five tests.
SpaceX markets Starlink as a service that promises to bring internet connectivity to rural and other underserved regions of the United States. As opposed to other satellite internet providers, the company plans to operate thousands of small satellites in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO). This is one of the lowest orbital shells for a spacecraft, and the company's decision is influenced by its desire to reduce latency (the time taken for a signal to travel from and back to a user terminal) and to be able to quickly deorbit the spacecraft in case they malfunction.
For the latter front, the company has also signed an agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) through which the two will share data for NASA and Starlink satellite parameters to avoid mishaps. SpaceX will also work with the space agency to tailor its satellite launch schedules to ensure a trajectory that does not overlap with NASA's manned and unmanned missions.
The company is also fighting within the halls of the FCC to secure approval for its third Starlink modification. This modification proposes to lower the satellite altitudes and change ground station angles - changes which SpaceX's competitors such as Amazon and DISH have argued against by claiming that they will significantly impact their services.