Starlink has proven to be a popular option for millions of people that lack access to traditional broadband internet services and also some that simply want an alternative to the one or two legacy options in their area. SpaceX has found a way to tap into a completely unserved/underserved market of potential customers.
The state of Michigan has many areas of it that are extremely rural. Most of these areas lack the cable and fiber infrastructure that has traditionally been needed to support broadband internet. For many people living in those regions, the idea of getting fast, reliable internet delivered via satellite has been a longtime dream.
Traditional satellite internet services, including HughesNet and Viasat, simply do not perform that well for the needs of a modern-day internet user. Starlink has taken an innovative approach to solving these performance issues through the use of thousands of low earth orbit (LEO) satellites.
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Starlink Speeds Michigan
Based on my questionnaire, typical Starlink speeds seen by Michigan residents range from about 40 Mbps to 145 Mbps download speeds and 10 Mbps – 20 Mbps upload speeds. These are speeds that are unprecedented for satellite-based internet.
Equally impressive is the reduced latency offered by the use of low earth orbit (LEO) satellites. My survey shows that latency averages between 55 ms and 70 ms for most subscribers. This is a small fraction of the latency that is seen with other satellite internet services. I have personally seen latency of 500+ ms with legacy satellite internet providers.
Based on my testing and the answers reported on my questionnaire, I can conclude that there are several factors that will greatly impact what level of speed you will get with Starlink. Key factors include:
- Obstructions blocking your Starlink dish
- How congested your Starlink coverage cell is
- Which Starlink service you are using
- Whether you have hit your monthly data cap
There is a notable difference in speeds seen by the three most common Starlink Internet plans. Starlink Business users, on average, experience speeds that are about double that of residential users. Starlink Roam (formerly Starlink for RVs) users get the lowest data priority and therefore often see even lower speeds than residential users, especially during peak hours.
Data caps are also a primary factor. After you reach your 1 TB soft data cap with Starlink Residential, your data priority gets lowered to the level of Starlink Roam customers. This often results in significantly slower speeds during peak hours and whenever the Starlink Network is at full capacity.
Typical Starlink Speeds Reported in Michigan
Based on the questionnaire that I sent out to 100 Starlink subscribers in the state of Michigan, typical Starlink Residential speeds reported range from as low as 40 Mbps download speed and 7 Mbps upload speed to as high as 155 Mbps download speed and 20 Mbps upload speed. Speeds tend to vary greatly by time of day and even from minute to minute in some cases.
Starlink Business speeds were significantly higher on average than Starlink Residential speeds. The real surprise was just how low of speeds many Starlink Roam users reported. Starlink Roam clearly is the lowest priority of service, and the data shows it.
Starlink Speeds Michigan Averages
|Starlink Residential||Starlink Business||Starlink Roam|
|Download Speed||106 Mbps||211 Mbps||52 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||13 Mbps||22 Mbps||4 Mbps|
|Latency||63 ms||64 ms||73 ms|
Is Starlink Available in Michigan
Starlink is currently available across the entire state of Michigan. However, there are a few things that you need to be aware of. Currently, Starlink is at capacity in Michigan, and therefore there is presently a waitlist to sign up for residential service.
Starlink Roam is, however, available in Michigan right now, and anyone can sign up for it. Many people are signing up for Starlink Roam to use until they are eligible to switch to residential. Starlink Roam does come with a couple of downsides.
- Cost for Starlink Roam is $150 per month vs $90 – $110 per month for Starlink Residential.
- Lower data priority means lower speeds and potentially higher latency during peak hours.
Starlink Roam is perfect for someone who currently has no other option for getting broadband internet at their service address. It is also perfect for people who travel in an RV and want to take their internet with them.
Otherwise, if you can live with your current internet provider for a few more months, it would likely make the most sense to simply order Starlink Residential and join the waitlist for service.
When Will Starlink be Available in Michigan
As of 2023, Starlink is available in Michigan via Starlink Roam. There is a waitlist for Starlink Residential, and Starlink is not clear about how long people will have to wait to get service.
Based on the waitlist times for other states that were previously at capacity, I fully expect to see Starlink Residential offered by the end of the year. Starlink Roam is currently a viable option for anyone who wants to jump to the front of the line.
Just keep in mind that you will be paying extra money each month for the privilege, and your speeds may not always be as fast as you would like them to be.
If you need service now and do not want to fork over $150 per month for Starlink Roam, there are a few other options to consider. Keep in mind that many of these may not be available at your Michigan service address. However, they do have services in various parts of the state and are worth exploring.
- T-Mobile 5G Home Internet (5G Wireless)
- Verizon 5G Home Internet (5G Wireless)
- Viasat (Legacy satellite)
- HughesNet (Legacy satellite)
Conclusion: Starlink Michigan Availablity, Coverage, and Speed
Starlink has coverage across the entire state of Michigan. Capacity is limited, and currently, there is a waitlist to sign up for residential Starlink Internet across the entire state. Speeds are lower than in some areas due to a higher level of network congestion.
Starlink Roam is a viable option for people who are looking to skip the queue and get service immediately. It is a pricier option, but worth it to many who depend on having fast and reliable internet.
Alternatives, including 5G home internet, are available in some parts of Michigan, but coverage is spotty and far from universal. Legacy satellite internet is also an option but clearly has its major limitations. I would consider that an absolute last resort option for most people.