SpaceX’s launched 60 new Starlink satellites earlier this week, set to help the low-Earth orbit satellite internet company expand its connectivity. Like many places in the world, some in the United Kingdom believe Starlink could be the solution for internet in remote, rural locations.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is currently in talks with the UK government about increasing connectivity to remote regions of the country, as reported by Sky. The news follows Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s promise of a £5 billion ($6.9 billion USD) boost for parts of the UK with connectivity issues, along with endorsements from other public officials.
Keep your eye out for around 40 Starlink satellites passing over the UK at approximately 19:22 this evening. They will pass over in a tight train of satellites from the north-west passing overhead for around 8 minutes.
— VirtualAstro (@VirtualAstro) March 12, 2021
UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has also shown support for Starlink as a potential solution to coverage issues in the country’s most remote locations. Along with Starlink, the UK has considered the potential for High-Altitude Platforms like autonomous aircraft or balloons to help deliver connectivity in rural UK places like the Scottish Highlands.
Starlink’s service, while still in beta, currently has over 10,000 users across the US, Canada, and the UK, and SpaceX head Elon Musk has confirmed that the company’s satellite constellation will reach all four corners of the Earth by the end of 2022.
SpaceX has also discussed plans of providing a mobile internet service, particularly for use in aircrafts and large trucks, according to Musk.