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Elon Musk’s Starlink serving to to revive Tonga’s web

SpaceX chief Elon Musk has despatched a workforce of Starlink engineers to the South Pacific to assist get Tonga again on-line after a latest volcanic eruption severed the one cable connecting the island nation to the web.

With repairs to the undersea cable nonetheless ongoing, and a inhabitants determined to contact family members abroad, a number of politicians within the area have been making public calls asking Musk if he would have the ability to use his Starlink web satellites to revive Tonga’s web connection following the January 15 catastrophe.

This prompted a tweet from Musk himself asking the folks of Tonga to “tell us if it can be crucial for SpaceX to ship over Starlink terminals.” A short time later, numerous Starlink engineers set off for Tonga’s neighboring nation of Fiji to start out work on establishing a Starlink Gateway floor station.

Information of Musk’s useful intervention got here by way of Fiji attorney-general Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, who tweeted this week that SpaceX was now working to “reconnect Tonga to the world.”

The Hunga Tonga volcano's shockwave shattered Tonga's web connection, including days of gut-wrenching uncertainty to catastrophe assessments. A @SpaceX workforce is now in Fiji establishing a Starlink Gateway station to reconnect Tonga to the world.

Nice initiative, @elonmusk!

— Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (@FijiAG) February 7, 2022

SpaceX’s Starlink web service launched final 12 months and makes use of a rising constellation of satellites with the final word purpose of offering connectivity to anyplace on Earth, with underserved or unserved communities in distant areas a specific focus. The bottom stations are a vital a part of the Starlink setup, whereas the customers themselves solely want to put in a small receiving dish to attach their machine to the web.

Repairs to the cable, which runs 500 miles beneath the Pacific to Fiji, are nonetheless ongoing after being hampered by dangerous climate earlier this week. Because the eruption, which precipitated a tsunami, razed properties, and left three folks useless, the Tongan authorities has managed to revive some cellphone connections for these residing on the principle island, however Starlink may assist convey web connectivity to these residing on the nation’s many smaller islands who will in any other case have to attend for much longer to get again on-line.

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