SpaceX operates the world's largest broadband satellite constellation. The company launches internet-beaming Starlink satellites to Low Earth Orbit atop flight-proven Falcon 9 rockets on a weekly basis. Since 2019, it has launched a total of 3,399 satellites that provide internet service to over half-a-million users living across 43 countries located in all seven continents. On September 29, SpaceX announced it expanded Starlink service in the Caribbean. Starlink is now available in the French Islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe.
Starlink est désormais disponible en Martinique et en Guadeloupe → https://t.co/slZbTmHdml— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 30, 2022
Guadeloupe is an archipelago of 12 islands in the Lesser Antilles chain of the Eastern Caribbean Sea. Around 69.3% of Guadeloupe’s population has access to the internet and 30.7% remain offline. According to data, 64.1% of the Martinique island’s population has internet access and 35.9% still do not have access to the internet at home. The geography of the Caribbean makes it hard to provide internet access via fiber-optic cables, Starlink is ideal for the islands because the satellites in orbit beam internet data directly to Starlink user antennas. The antenna is around the size of a pizza box and only requires an electricity source and clear view of the sky. It features advanced technology, capable of self-adjusting to find the satellites in orbit. The Starlink hardware includes a Wi-Fi router to access the internet wirelessly. The standard internet service provides internet download speeds ranging from 50Mbps to 200Mbps, according to active users.
The Dominican Republic was the first Caribbean country to have Starlink access since July this year. SpaceX has rapidly expanded coverage in the region and achieved Starlink maritime coverage to provide internet access to sea-going vessels in the world's most remote oceans. Royal Caribbean Group became the first cruise ship operator to install Starlink on its ship fleet to provide high-speed satellite internet for passengers.
Featured Image Source: NASA