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Starlink Makes A Connection With A Remote Fishing Village In Chile

By Keith Cowing
August 20, 2021
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Starlink Makes A Connection With A Remote Fishing Village In Chile
Sotomo, Chile
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Ground stations installed as part of a Starlink test pilot program are beginning to demonstrate their potential to bring remote areas of ouf world into full Internet contact with the rest of humanity.
According to an article by Reuters: “After half an hour’s windswept journey on foot and by boat through a craggy forested estuary to the school he attends in remote southern Chile, Diego Guerrero can finally access the Internet. His school is located in the hamlet of Sotomo, around 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) south of the capital Santiago in the region of Los Lagos and inhabited by just 20 families.”

Starlink’s “Better Than Nothing Beta” program offers data speeds that can range from 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s and latency ranging from 20ms to 40ms. The end user can expect an Internet connection somewhere between a cable hook-up and a fiber connection – but vastly better than existing consumer satellite systems – and it is available globally – not just in select locations.

With regard to Chile, Reuters quotes SpaceX chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell as saying “Starlink was designed for remote communities like those in Caleta Sierra and Sotomo. High-speed connectivity can have a transformational impact on these communities.”

The only thing limiting access in Sotomo right now is fuel for the generator that powers the system. Yet its availability at Sotomo’s John F. Kennedy School has been transformational. Yet despite its high level of Internet penetration, Chile still has large regions that have no connectivity. Traditional wired infrastructure would be prohibitively expensive. But Starlink ground stations only need to see the sky.

Related stories – access to space-based satellite technology in remote rural areas:

Understanding NASA’s Global Reach
My Star Trek Episode at Everest

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.