Elon Musk has announced that the Starlink app will now include the ability to donate satellite internet to people in need around the globe.
Over the past year, more and more people in need have pleaded for Starlink access. Either to subvert despotic government internet controls, improve their community’s education level, or even use Starlink to repel invasion. But the sad reality is that this service costs money, so now Elon Musk announced via Twitter that users would be able to donate Starlink access to people around the globe.
Mr. Musk’s Twitter announcement was not as spontaneous as some would like you to believe. Initially, Mr. Ham Serunjogi, the co-founder of a remittances app, posted about his new Starlink internet setup and praised the potential of the technology to bring internet to rural and remote areas. This led him to ask if it was possible to donate Starlink access to, in his case, schools and hospitals in Uganda.
Ok, we will add a donate option to Starlink
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 17, 2022
While this new feature operates under a noble goal, there are many questions about how the system would operate. If one were to donate internet access, would this be donating the physical dish setup or the service fees associated with its operation? How would the dish be sent and set up in some of the world’s most remote areas? These countless logistical issues would have to be overcome before the system could be implemented.
The other problem facing such an implementation, especially one that could reach into the interior of Africa, is service coverage. Currently, Starlink is available in much of the western world, including most of the US and Europe; however, according to the Starlink website, none of the African continent and very little of South America currently have coverage. Even in Asia, Starlink access has only come to fruition very recently.
Many questions remain unanswered about the upcoming feature, but at the very least, the program can work to expand internet access to some of the world’s most hard-to-reach locations.
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