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Starlink Ups and Downs: Monthly Price Increases for Some, Decreases for Others

Elon Musk's satellite internet service is making more news after its data cap, due to be implemented this month, got pushed back to an April start.

Trey Paul Senior Editor
Trey Paul is a CNET senior editor covering broadband. His 20+ years of experience as a writer and editor include time at CNET's sister site, Allconnect, and working with clients like Yahoo!, Google, The New York Times and Choice Hotels. An avid movie fan, Trey's career also includes being a film and TV critic while pursuing a degree in New York.
Expertise Home internet and broadband, including plans, providers, internet speeds and connection types. Movies and film studies. Credentials
  • Master's degree in Cinema Studies from NYU and interviews with Conan O'Brien, Stan Lee and some of his biggest Star Trek childhood idols
Trey Paul
2 min read
Starlink satellites in the sky with a phone and Starlink logo

Certain Starlink customers are about to see a price increase.

James Martin/CNET

Customers of Elon Musk's satellite internet service, Starlink, had barely gotten a chance to adjust to the recent disclosure that an impending terabyte data cap, which was supposed to be enacted this February, would arrive "no earlier than April 2023." Now some have also learned that April will bring a rate increase as well. 

Per an email recently sent to customers, Starlink announced its monthly service will increase by $10, to $120 per month, for customers in areas with limited capacity, and will decrease by $20, to $90 monthly, for those in areas with excess capacity. For existing customers, the change is scheduled to begin April 24. For new subscribers, however, the higher rate is effective immediately.

What's unclear is just how expansive the "limited capacity" areas are. Do they correspond to all "waitlist" areas on the Starlink map? Similarly, we don't know how many customers should expect their monthly rate to decrease. 

Locating local internet providers

CNET contacted Starlink for comment on these changes but hasn't yet heard back.

Even taking the price increase into account, Starlink is still more than competitive in the satellite internet space. While HughesNet offers a cheaper tier with a regular rate of $75 per month, that also comes with maximum download speeds of 25 megabits per second. Starlink averaged more than double that download speed at 53Mbps, per Ookla speed test data from the latter half of 2022.

Locating local internet providers

Another competitor, Viasat, does have a handful of markets where it offers download speeds over 75Mbps, but the regular monthly rate for those plans ranges from $200 to $400. That's much more expensive than Starlink, even with the pending increase.

There's another element in Starlink's favor too. Customers who are unsatisfied with the service or the price increase can cancel without penalty. If they cancel within the first 30 days of service, they'll get a full refund of what they paid. If they cancel within the first year, they'll get a partial refund of $250. 

HughesNet and Viasat customers are under a two-year contract, and any cancellation before then results in early termination fees that can be as high as $400.