Starlink goes live in Indonesia, targets rural health and education

Starlink goes live in Indonesia, targets rural health and education

SpaceX’s LEO satellite operator Starlink officially launched its service in Indonesia on Sunday, which among other things will be used to bolster healthcare and education services in remote areas under a new agreement.

According to media reports, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was on hand for the launch ceremony in Bali along with various government ministers.

At the ceremony, Musk signed an agreement between SpaceX and the Indonesian government to use Starlink to enhance connectivity for the healthcare and education sectors, although no details were provided. The launch ceremony took place at a community health clinic in Densapar.

Musk also conducted a speed test of the Starlink service with health workers in remote regions. “This can make it really a lifesaver for remote medical clinics, and I think it could be a possibility for education as well,” Musk was quoted as saying by the Associated press.

According to Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, who also attended the launch, around 2,700 of the country’s over 10,000 clinics have no internet access.

“The internet can open up better access to health services as communication between regions is said to be easier, so that reporting from health service facilities can be done in real time or up to date,” he told the AP.

Starlink’s arrival in Indonesia has been highly anticipated for some time, not least because its satellite broadband service is seen as a fast ticket to connect underserved and unserved remote communities across the archipelago.

Starlink officially applied for the relevant licences to operate in Indonesia in April 2024, and received official approval earlier this month. In between, Starlink signed an MoU with the Indonesian Internet Service Providers Association (APJII) to provide internet access in the underdeveloped, frontmost and outermost regions of the country.

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