Science

SpaceX Halving the Cost of a Monthly Starlink Subscription in France

After increasing the price of equipment for connecting to Starlink, SpaceX has significantly reduced the monthly fee for accessing the service. The other side of the coin is that it has a rate limiting policy beyond a certain amount of data being downloaded.

On Wednesday, August 3, 2022, French subscribers of Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite internet service, received a pleasant surprise by email in a time of general inflation. From this date, the monthly cost of access to the service is reduced from 99 euros per month to 50 euros, or almost half as much. “No action is required on your part, the price reduction will be automatically applied to your next invoice,” the email we received states.

Equally interesting, we are learning that the fixed shipping and handling charges automatically billed to all new customers are disappearing. They amounted to 59 €. However, keep in mind that in March last year, SpaceX revised up the price of an expensive hardware package needed to access Starlink. From 499 euros, it has grown to 634 euros. An increase that will henceforth be erased in less than three months of subscription.

Speed ​​potentially limited after 250 €Go/month

Claiming to offer early subscribers “the same Starlink services at half the price,” this outreach pushes for the launch of a program called “Fair Use” next October aimed at “ensuring that as our customer base grows, typical service users will not be negatively impacted by users consuming large amounts of data.” In other words, Starlink guarantees that providing access to more users will not negatively impact the quality of service.

On paper, this is very good news. But be careful though, this policy allows Starlink to introduce new usage rules. The ISP does reserve the ability to slow down the connection speeds of the largest data consumers during periods when the network is most in demand. “All users will still have access to unlimited data. Users who consume 250 GB of data per month or less will be prioritized. Users who exceed 250 GB of data per month will still have access to unlimited data but may experience lower speeds. network congestion time,” the company explains.

And since this is all a commercial matter, we will learn that these most greedy users will be able to restore their priority access in 100 GB increments for a price of 10 €. It should be noted that nowadays reaching 250 GB consumption per month is not very difficult, while some video games weigh 100 GB and when one hour of streaming in 4K on Netflix represents approximately 7 GB of data ingested.

Therefore, Starlink intends to boost speeds in France, where the deployment of high-speed networks via 4G/5G networks and fiber continues. In spite of everything, there are still many geographical areas in the country where only very long and inefficient ADSL lines are offered to customers, or even areas, albeit sparsely populated, where network coverage is practically non-existent. It is clear that Starlink will try to appeal to these particular customers, as well as to nomads who would like to enjoy reliable and fast Internet access while roaming (for example, for motorhomes, an additional fee of 25 euros per month is charged for the option).

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