SpaceX Donates Starlink Kits for Hurricane Ian Relief in Florida

SpaceX has repositioned Starlink satellites and donated Starlink terminals to Florida in order to aid rescue and relief efforts in areas affected by Hurricane Ian — reports West Palm Beach News and Headlines.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said during a news conference held in Wauchula on Saturday that he contacted SpaceX CEO Elon Musk for help with recovery efforts.

According to Gov. DeSantis, Musk agreed to position Starlink satellites to restore internet connectivity in counties that were hardest hit by Hurricane Ian. Getting first responders back online will help search and rescue operations immensely.

“They’ve donated the cost associated with all of the coverage, so we want to thank SpaceX and thank Elon Musk for that. A large device, you can put it different areas in the community that are having problems and they can get a 13-mile radius and they can support over 1,000 users at a given time,” Gov. DeSantis said during the conference.

Gov. DeSantis added that SpaceX will be delivering an additional 120 Starlink kits to several counties across southwest Florida over the next 48 hours.

“Unity Fiber has provided free broadband access and Verizon has deployed drones to assist with additional cell coverage and that will also help assess damage and expedite recovery efforts,” Gov. DeSantis noted, apprising locals of the ongoing recovery efforts.

The Florida governor said that over 54% of the power outages caused by Hurricane Ian have been fixed.

Starlink is a high-speed satellite broadband service from SpaceX that is powered by a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit. The service has already achieved full Earth coverage.

Starlink is designed to deliver a fast, reliable internet connection to even the most remote regions. The service’s capabilities also make it ideal for disaster response. Thanks to SpaceX’s Volcano Mounts, Starlink dishes even survived Hurricane Fiona in Canada.

Earlier this week, SpaceX launched its new Starlink terminal for maritime customers.