Musk’s Starlink helps Florida get internet after Hurricane Ian, says DeSantis

Topline

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) said The state is working with Elon Musk on Saturday to expand internet access to hurricane-devastated areas of southwest Florida using its Starlink satellite internet service, marking the company’s latest foray into expansion. service for a region in crisis.

Highlights

DeSantis said the company plans to send 120 “large Starlink units” to Florida, which will act as satellite dishes to distribute internet connections to devices within a 13-mile radius.

Many terminals are expected to travel to Lee County, where dozens of people have died and coastal communities have been devastated after being directly affected by Category 4 Hurricane Ian on Wednesday.

Search and rescue teams will also be given priority access to Starlink units, DeSantis said.

Starlink fully covers “costs associated with all coverage,” according to the governor.

Key Context

The effort in Florida comes just over a week after the United States allowed Starlink to begin providing services to Iran, where the government clamped down on internet access in response to protests after a woman who was allegedly arrested for wearing a headscarf inappropriately has died in police custody. Starlink has also prioritized internet access for Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February, with a Ukrainian official saying in May that about 150,000 people use Starlink internet every day. Photos from southwest Florida show coastal communities essentially wiped out and major damage to infrastructure, including coastal roads that have been destroyed. Musk said Starlink’s goal is to provide internet access to areas where ground services have traditionally been unavailable or unreliable.

Large number

72%. That’s how far Lee County remains without power, according to PowerOutage.us. The county has over 750,000 residents and includes communities like Fort Myers and Sanibel.

Contra

Starlink’s Iranian effort has been criticized for having little impact on internet availability, although the main downside seems to be the lack of ability to access terminals in Iran, which may not be an issue in Florida. .

Forbes Valuation

We estimate that Musk is worth $247.9 billion, making him the richest man in the world.

Further reading

Musk’s Starlink Could Bring Iran’s Internet Service Amid Government Crackdown (Forbes)

Hurricane Ian: These are the hardest hit areas of Florida by the Category 4 storm (Forbes)

Why Elon Musk’s Starlink won’t affect Iran protests (Al Jazeera)

Hurricane Ian kills 56 in Florida and will likely climb higher (Forbes)

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