SpaceX is working to provide rural and remote communities around the world with Starlink satellite broadband internet. As of today, the company operates around 1,944 satellites in Low Earth Orbit that beam internet data directly to customer dish antennas on the ground. Overall, the Starlink constellation will have over 12,000 satellites that SpaceX plans to launch over the next seven years.
A rural community located in the northwestern U.S. state of New Mexico will soon be connected to the Starlink network, thanks to efforts by the Cuba Independent School District and local government who will invest $1.2 million of federal relief money to purchase at least 1,000 Starlink Kits to connect the schools and 450 families of students, according to an AP report. The community has no fiber-optic cables running through the indigenous village because the infrastructure is too expensive to install in a sparsely populated town. Not having internet at home makes it hard for children to expand their education beyond the classroom.
Cuba Independent Schools Superintendent Karen Sanchez-Griego said that school staff started to install some Starlink Kits in student households in November. The $500 USD kit includes a dish antenna and Wi-Fi router to access the satellite network. The kits will be provided free-of-charge to everyone, as well as a year of free internet subscription. –“Our kids can’t wait,” Sanchez-Griego told reporters. After the free service period, they hope the state will help the community continue to fund the internet access. The Starlink subscription is $100 USD per month, “Our hope is that the state will come through,” they stated.
Featured Image Source: SpaceX