After increasing the price of connecting equipment to Starlink, SpaceX significantly reduced the monthly fee to access the service. The other side of the coin is that there is a speed limit policy beyond a certain amount of downloaded data.
On Wednesday, August 3, 2022, French subscribers to Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite internet service, received a pleasant surprise via email during these times of generalized inflation. From that date, the monthly cost of accessing the service will drop from €99 per month to €50, or almost half. “No action required on your part, the discount will automatically be applied to your next bill”indicates the email we received.
Equally interesting, we learn that the shipping and service fee, which is automatically charged to all new customers, is no longer applicable. They amounted to €59. However, keep in mind that last March SpaceX revised upwards the price of the expensive hardware package required to access Starlink. It had risen from 499 euros to 634 euros. An increase that will henceforth be canceled in less than three months of subscription.
Speed may be limited after €250 Go/month
While bragging about offering early subscribers “Same Starlink service at half price”this information campaign insists on the opening next October of a program called “fair use” dedicated to this “To ensure that the quality of service for the typical user is not compromised by users consuming large amounts of data as our customer base grows.”. In other words, Starlink will ensure that rolling out its access to more users does not compromise the quality of service.
On paper, this is very good news. But be careful anyway, this policy allows Starlink to introduce new usage rules. In fact, the ISP reserves the right to reduce the connection speeds of the largest consumers of data at times when the network is most in demand. “All users will still have access to unlimited data. Users consuming 250GB/month or less of data are prioritized. Users who exceed 250GB/month will still have access to unlimited data, but may experience slower speeds during times of network congestion”explains the company.
And since everything is a commercial question, we learn that these greediest users can regain their preferred access in 100GB increments at a cost of €10. It should be noted that today it is not very difficult to reach a consumption of 250 GB per month, at a time when some video games weigh 100 GB and an hour of streaming in 4K on Netflix represents about 7 GB of swallowed data.
Starlink therefore intends to shift up a gear in France, which continues to see very fast deployments over 4G/5G networks and fiber. Despite everything, there are still many geographic areas of the national territory where customers are only offered very long and inefficient ADSL lines, or even areas – admittedly sparsely populated – where network coverage is almost non-existent. Clearly, Starlink will try to attract these customers, as well as nomads who want reliable and fast internet access when roaming (for example, for campers, an option will be charged extra €25 per month).