Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, responded to letter about Tonga's internet outage following the tsunami by asking if the country would like to receive Starlink terminals to restore connectivity. Dr. Shane Reti, a New Zealand politician, wrote to Musk asking for Starlink's help, but Musk stated it would be tough, so he's waiting for solid clarification on the topic.
According to Musk, Starlink does not currently have enough satellites in the region with laser connectivity, but there are geo sats. Whatever occurs, swift action will be required because many individuals in the country do not have access to the internet, making it difficult to communicate with relatives, distribute news, or receive remittance money.
Last week, a tsunami was unleashed after an underground volcano erupted, destroying everything in its path. One of the obstacles was an undersea cable that was knocked down, causing major communication issues for the country.
If Elon Musk can immediately provide assistance to the Tongans, it will demonstrate the need for these divisive satellites. Starlink and OneWeb, which both have these internet satellites, are frequently chastised for astronomy and space junk concerns, but this instance demonstrates that they aren't just providing a deluxe service.
Starlink Satellites Launch into Space
What is Starlink?
Starlink is the name of SpaceX's developing network or constellation of orbital satellites. It is technically a division inside SpaceX. The first prototype satellites were sent into orbit in 2018, after the network's construction began in 2015.
Musk's satellite internet project now has roughly 2,000 satellites circling overhead after three years of successful launches. Starlink was serving more than 10,000 users, according to Musk's business. Musk claims that Starlink has shipped more than 100,000 satellite internet terminals to customers in 14 countries after expanding preorders to even more potential customers, releasing a second-generation home internet satellite dish, and exploring the possibility of providing in-flight Wi-Fi for passenger aircraft.
To establish the connection, all you need to do is install a tiny satellite dish in your home to receive the signal and send the bandwidth to your router. Mounting options for rooftops, yards, and the exterior of your home are available from the company. There's also an Android and iOS app called Starlink that employs augmented reality to assist clients choose the optimal location and position for their receivers.
In most cases, users can expect data speeds of 50 to 150 megabits per second and latency of 20 to 40 milliseconds. The solution, which costs $499, includes a Wi-Fi interface and a satellite dish in an automatic self-install box. Currently, the service costs $99.00. Starlink has made every effort to keep the service as affordable as possible, but there are still obstacles. According to reports, Starlink is working on a more durable version of the device that will be able to withstand the environment better.
Starlink plans to sell high-speed internet connectivity to those in rural areas and other parts of the world who don't have it already. The Starlink service is currently only available in a few countries and areas. Even so, as more satellites join the constellation, the coverage map will expand significantly.
The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Portugal, Australia, and New Zealand are among the countries currently served by the developing network of low-earth orbit satellites.
Although fiber, or internet delivered via ground-laid fiber-optic cable, provides far higher upload and download speeds than satellite internet, constructing the infrastructure required to send fiber to people's homes is not quick.
That's not to argue that launching satellites into orbit is simple, but with fewer sharp-elbowed competitors and a lot less red tape to navigate, there's every reason to assume that services like Starlink will reach the majority of underserved regions much before fiber can.