Starlink Kit Digital Illustration Created By: Erc X @ErcXspace via Twitter.
SpaceX is deploying a constellation of internet-beaming Starlink satellites to provide broadband connection globally. The Starlink network will benefit rural areas on the planet where traditional internet service is unreliable and unavailable. Millions still lack access to the internet where they live due to the service being unstable or too expensive to acquire. In an effort to close the digital divide among rural communities in the United States, SpaceX is working alongside the government to provide service to underserved communities across the country. With approximately 960 satellites in orbit, the company is already offering service to northern United States. Starlink will be offered across America as the satellite constellation grows in 2021.
Residents in Allen Township, a rural area in Ohio, will soon receive free SpaceX Starlink Internet. Lieutenant Governor of Ohio Jon Husted told Cincinnati news reporters that SpaceX will provide free Starlink service to 90 households and 10 small businesses in Allen Township which has a population of 2,200. –“This past year has shown that now more than ever, access to high speed internet is an essential element for participating in the modern economy, education and health care systems,” Husted stated in reference to the COVID-19 pandemic that forced schools and businesses to move their work-space online. “Too many Ohioans have unreliable broadband, or no connection at all, and Governor DeWine and I are committed to finding solutions to this challenge,” he said.
Lt. Governor Husted stated the free Starlink internet program is part of the government's commitment to expand high-speed internet access in underserved areas. To receive internet from the satellites in space, the residents and businesses will be provided with a Starlink Kit, that has the equipment necessary to connect to the broadband satellite network. The kit includes a pizza-sized dish antenna and Wi-Fi router device that is easy to install. The company says the technology these devices feature is more advanced than what is currently on fighter jets. SpaceX priced the equipment at $499 USD, with a monthly service fee of $99 USD. However, Starlink internet will be provided for free to Allen Township residents for 12 months thanks to a collaboration between SpaceX, InnovateOhio, BroadbandOhio, the City of Marysville, JobsOhio, and economic leaders in Union County.
About the Author
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.