Starlink mini dish

SpaceX to launch Starlink services in Papua New Guinea

(Credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX is bringing Starlink internet services to Papua New Guinea (PNG). The Minister of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in PNG, Hon. Timothy Massy, recently announced that Starlink Incorporated received a fiver-year operator license from the National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA).

“This is a positive impact [on] our sector and our New Year’s gift to Papua New Guinea,” declared Minister Masiu. 

According to local news outlets, Starlink’s license will allow the company to establish, maintain, and operate its satellite network in PNG. Starlink will expand PNG’s internet connection nationwide, especially to rural and remote areas. 

The NICTA consulted the public before issuing the five-year license to Starlink Incorporated. Through Starlink, the NICTA hopes to address the challenges and infrastructure constraints PNG has faced due to internet access. 

“It took us some time to do that because this interesting new technology has just come into realization after maybe 9-10 years of development. The positive side is we can connect all those remote schools now, and the cost to this satellite service is very low compared to fixed orbit satellites, which is a plus for our government,” said NICTA Chairman Noel Mobia.

NICTA Board Director John Cholai hopes Starlink internet services will bridge the Digital Divide in PNG. According to Asia & The Pacific Policy Society, PNG has a digital landscape with a robust population of 1.66 million internet users. About 1.03 million internet users are active social media users in PNG. 

More than 85% of PNG’s population reside in rural areas, but active social media users predominantly reside in urban areas. Port Moresby, one of the largest cities in the southwestern Pacific—outside of Australia and New Zealand—accounted for 56% of social media users, providing a large picture of PNG’s Digital Divide. 

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SpaceX to launch Starlink services in Papua New Guinea
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