SpaceX continues to make a point of deploying nascent Starlink internet services – often for free – in ways that prioritize and uplift rural schools and Native American tribes.
Back in October, word first broke that SpaceX – through Washington state’s Department of Commerce – had partnered with the Hoh Tribe to deliver high-quality internet to multiple homes and facilities. The tribe had nothing but praise for the service after a few days of use, frankly stating that “[Starlink] catapulted us into the 21st century.”
Weeks later, Texas’ Ector County Independent School District revealed that SpaceX would deploy Starlink to homes throughout the district, ensuring – like the Hoh Tribe – that rural communities with little to no functional internet access would still be able to use crucial online services in the midst of a global pandemic.
Most recently, Virginia’s Wise County Public Schools say they are scheduled to receive 45 (and ultimately 90+) Starlink kits from SpaceX early next year, bringing high-quality internet to dozens of homes with little to no prior access.
A week prior, Canada’s Pikangikum First Nation also thanked SpaceX for bringing Starlink internet to the fly-in-only community, where the best service available prior ranged from 60 kilobits per second to a middling few megabits per second – all high-latency.
While SpaceX does continue to gradually roll out Starlink beta kits to users across the northern US and southern Canada, the company’s clear and continued prioritization of mass deployments in some of the most chronically underserved and negatively impacted areas exemplifies the constellation’s goal: deliver high-quality, low-latency internet to those without.