SpaceX to Launch Starlink Fair Use Data Caps in Canada, U.S.

SpaceX is gearing up to implement a Fair Use policy on its high-speed satellite internet service, Starlink, in the U.S. and Canada (via @DirtyTesLa).

“To ensure our customer base is not negatively impacted by a small number of users consuming unusually high amounts of data, the Starlink team is implementing a Fair Use policy in the US and Canada in December 2022,” the company told customers in an email.

The Fair Use policy will place a 1 TB data cap for Priority Access on all Starlink Residential connections in the U.S. and Canada.

“Under the Fair Use policy, all Residential customers will receive unlimited data and will start each month with Priority Access, which means their data usage will be prioritized during times of network congestion,” SpaceX explained.

Once a subscriber has used up their 1 TB of Priority Access data for the month, their connection will be downgraded to Basic Access for the rest of the billing cycle. Basic Access can result in slower internet speeds during peak usage times.

According to SpaceX, less than 10% of Starlink subscribers in the U.S. and Canada currently use more than 1 TB of data per month.

“Customers who exceed 1 TB of data use on a monthly basis (currently < 10% of users) will automatically be switched to Basic Access for the remainder of the billing cycle, which means their data usage will be deprioritized during times of network congestion, resulting in slower speeds,” the company continued.

What’s more, any data customers use between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. will not count towards their Priority Access cap.

If you do manage to use up your 1 TB of Priority Access Starlink service anyway, it’s not like you’re going to be cut off for the rest of the month. Even Starlink’s ‘Best Effort’ service delivers download speeds between 5 and 100 Mbps.

In its email, SpaceX is also informing customers whether the data cap will have an impact on them based on their usage patterns over the last six months. SpaceX also announced that Starlink users can now monitor their data usage on their Starlink account page.

Earlier this week, SpaceX expanded Starlink coverage to Alaska and northern Canada. SpaceX has also announced a new Flat High-Performance Starlink dish that launches in December and will make the service operational on moving vehicles.