Jamaica's Technology Minister Daryl Vaz shared that SpaceX Starlink Internet will be operational in the Island country before 2022 ends. The Starlink satellite constellation already provides internet coverage in some countries in the Caribbean, including the Dominican Republic and the French Martinique and Guadeloupe Islands. The company is working to expand coverage to serve more customers in the region.
Vaz says he is working to approve SpaceX’s Starlink telecommunications license soon to "diversify" Jamaica’s internet service providers. "[...] They require two licenses… I got communication from Starlink [representatives] today to say that if they get those two licenses by early this week they will be able to start operations by the end of this year – this calendar year which is two months," Vaz told CVM news during a television broadcast released on October 5th (the video is linked below). "That's a game-changer in terms of alternative services and competition," he said.
Currently, two major telecom providers operate in Jamaica called "Flow" and "Digicel'' which provide internet, phone, and digital TV cable services through fibre-optic connections. Around 40% of the Jamaican population lacks access to reliable high-speed internet at home. The Starlink network will be beneficial to the under-served rural and remote regions across the Island because SpaceX’s satellites will beam data directly to user Starlink antennas. Fiber-optic cable infrastructures are difficult and expensive to build in rural areas where population is scarce. To date, SpaceX has launched approximately 3,400 internet-beaming Starlink satellites to Low Earth Orbit out of 12,000 that will be launched within the next five years. Around 44 countries already have access to Starlink, see Starlink.com Coverage Map for more information.
VIDEO: Technology Minister Daryl Vaz discusses Starlink with CVM Reporters
Featured Image Source: NASA