Starlink Achieves Breakthrough in Reducing Network Latency

Starlink has announced significant advancements in reducing network latency, a critical measure of internet speed and efficiency.

The satellite internet provider from SpaceX has reported a notable reduction in both median and worst-case latency for its global user base.

“We have meaningfully reduced median and worst-case latency for users around the world,” said Starlink on Friday. In the United States, the median latency during peak hours has seen a reduction of more than 30%, from 48.5ms to 33ms, while the worst-case latency has decreased by over 60%, from 150ms to less than 65ms.

Latency, the time taken for a packet to travel from the user’s router to the internet and back, is crucial for a seamless online experience. Starlink’s focus on reducing latency aims to improve web page load times, audio and video call quality, and online gaming responsiveness. The company achieves latency measurements through anonymized data collected every 15 seconds from millions of routers.

Several factors contribute to latency in the Starlink network, including the physical propagation of signals, ground network layout, and the radio links between satellites and users.

To address these, Starlink has made several optimizations. “We are adding 6 internet connection locations in the US and optimizing gateway locations to ensure traffic lands as close to its destination point as possible,” said SpaceX.

Additionally, Starlink has improved its WiFi latency through active queue management, ensuring that activities like gaming are not affected by other high-bandwidth activities. “When one person on your WiFi is downloading a big file, and another is playing a game, the game latency will not be affected by the download,” they added.

Starlink’s ongoing efforts include the deployment of numerous software builds across satellites, gateways, and WiFi networks. These efforts are part of the company’s goal to continue reducing latency and improving overall network performance.

“Thank you to our 2.6M+ customers for choosing Starlink. You can expect latency to continue to improve,” said Starlink. Users are encouraged to check the latest latency statistics for their region on the Starlink website.