What just happened? Network throttling is coming soon for Starlink users in France. In a recent email sent to customers, the company revealed a Fair Usage Policy going into effect in October that will prioritize users with less than 250GB/mo data consumption. Those going over this limit can expect slower network speeds, which they can address by paying €10 for 100GB of additional data and reclaim priority access.
As part of Starlink's new pilot program for users in mainland France, the company's monthly service fee is being essentially halved, going down from €99/mo to €50/mo. While this change - which is now in effect - has been made to add as many users onto the network as possible, Starlink has also announced an upcoming Fair Usage Policy to prevent network congestion and maintain service quality.
This policy, which will be implemented in October, is designed to give priority access to customers with a monthly data consumption of less than 250GB. Those who cross this limit can expect their connection to throttle during times of network congestion.
Starlink says that such users will still have access to unlimited data (despite the slower speeds), and that they can reclaim priority access on the network by paying €10 for 100GB of additional data.
The company's email, as shared on Reddit, also reveals that this user prioritization is solely based on data usage and doesn't factor in the content provider.
Starlink's upcoming Fair Usage Policy could potentially mean more high speed data caps and/or throttling measures in the future that can be expanded to other countries once the company gains enough feedback from users in France.
The latter, particularly heavy internet consumers, are likely going to be upset at this development since the limit wasn't in place when they originally signed up for the service. Now, they will have to cough up extra for additional blocks of data once their connection has been deprioritized.
As PCMag notes, Starlink's support document for the French market states that this measure is meant to prevent Starlink 'Power Users' from hogging the network, and will instead prioritize other users during peak times. These power users will have their speeds slowed down 'in proportion' to network usage, and their connection won't be throttled during periods of non-congestion.