SpaceX’s Starlink internet has included unlimited bandwidth since its launch, and while the service will technically continue to offer it to customers, users who use more than 1TB of data in a month will now be throttled once that threshold is reached.
Starlink sent an email to users in the U.S. and Canada on Friday outlining a new so-called “fair usage” policy, which describes how residential users will start using “priority access” each month and then continue to receive ” If they exceed the 1TB threshold, “Basic Access” is used for the remainder of the monthly billing cycle.
Basic access means they will be “de-prioritized” in terms of usage, meaning they will get slower speeds than priority access customers when there is heavy usage on the network. Starlink also notes that data used during off-peak hours (specifically between 11pm and 7am) will not count towards the 1TB monthly priority bucket.
The company is also introducing data usage monitoring through user account pages so people can track how close they are to the soft cap.
Third-Party Web Analysis Companies Ookla notes that Starlink’s media speeds have dropped over the past year in every country currently available. Ookla cited the main reasons for user growth and overall decline. Starlink clearly wants to improve the situation by limiting high-volume users, which it says make up less than 10 percent of its current user base.