Ecuador government’s Ministry of Telecommunications and the Information Society (MINTEL) received a donation of SpaceX Starlink kits to connect rural schools to high-speed satellite internet. On July 4, MINTEL Minister Vianna Maino announced via Twitter that the government partnered with SpaceX's Starlink division to bring internet to six schools. Ms. Maino says that SpaceX donated the six Business-type antennas to install them at the schools on the four populated islands of Ecuador’s Galapagos Archipelago.
“We brought satellite internet connection to 6 schools in the Galapagos Islands as a result of joint work between the National Government and private companies,” said Ms. Maino, “Over 3,600 students now have high-end internet access. We build a sustainable educational future by promoting technological innovation in Ecuador. Thanks to Starlink and the private company of Galapagos for their contribution to the development and reduction of the digital divide,” she wrote via Twitter in Spanish language (all quotes were translated to English). The schools are located in rural regions of: Amazonas, Santa Cruz, Liceo Naval, San Cristobal, Galo Plaza and Stella Maris. Ms. Maino shared a video installing the SpaceX Starlink antennas at the schools, linked below.
▶️Llevamos conexión de internet satelital a 6 escuelas de las Islas Galápagos como resultado del trabajo articulado entre el Gobierno Nacional y la empresa privada.— Vianna Maino (@vmaino) July 4, 2023
🏫👨🎓Más de 3600 estudiantes ahora cuentan con acceso a internet de alta gama. Construimos un futuro educativo… pic.twitter.com/SMtT4rXYM4
Ms. Maino says that multiple organizations donated to cover the free internet service for the students, including contributions from: Rolf Witmmer Foundation, National Geographic Endevour II, National Geographic Islander II , Metropolitan Touring, from the Chamber of Tourism, and the local Restaurant Bahía. In the video, Ms. Maino says in Spanish that the community will donate in the future to cover the monthly Internet subscription payments “indefinitely” to keep the service free for students long-term - “permanently,” she said. Additionally, MINTEL setup two free Starlink Wi-Fi spots at public science centers, one in Santa Cruz and the other in San Cristóbal, which will directly benefit more than 27,000 citizens – not only students. These centers have received an average of 20,696 annual visits. The Government of Ecuador aims to continue to bridge the digital divide across the country, especially for the education sector.
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Featured Images Source: MINTEL Minister Vianna Maino via Twitter
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
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.