Ookla, the internet benchmarking firm behind Speedtest.net, has released their Q2 2023 report on the performance of SpaceX’s Starlink broadband satellite network in the UK. The report reveals some positive developments.
Currently, Starlink has approximately 4,700 satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) around the Earth, with plans to add around 7,500 more by the end of 2027. In the UK, customers pay £75 a month for the “Standard” package, which includes fast latency times of 25-50ms, download speeds of 25-100Mbps, and upload speeds of 5-10Mbps. The package also requires an additional £449 payment for the home kit and £20 for shipping.
Ookla’s report introduces a Net Promoter Score (NPS) metric for the Starlink service. This score measures customers’ likelihood of recommending the service using a scale from 0 to 10. Users in France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and the UK provided significantly higher NPS scores for Starlink compared to the aggregate score of all fixed broadband providers in Q2 2023. In the UK specifically, Starlink had an NPS of 47.18, while the aggregate score for fixed broadband providers was -26.88. The median download speeds for Starlink in the UK were 100.11Mbps, compared to 77.38Mbps for fixed broadband providers.
Among the 27 European countries surveyed, Starlink achieved median download speeds exceeding 100Mbps in 14 countries, over 90Mbps in 20 countries, and above 80Mbps in 24 countries. Only three countries fell below 70Mbps. In terms of year-over-year performance, download speeds remained consistent or improved in 15 countries but decreased in 8 countries from Q2 2022 to Q2 2023.
Switzerland stood out with one of the fastest median download speeds of 122.47Mbps. However, there was a decline in upload speeds overall, with the exception of the UK, which showed improvement in Q2 2023.
Despite the limitations of web-based speed testing, Ookla’s report provides valuable insights into general trends. Starlink’s performance has reached a level of maturity, offering impressive speeds, particularly for those living in underserved rural areas where alternative fixed line and mobile options may be slower.