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Elon Musk Launches Starlink in Indonesia: Revolutionising Internet Access Across 17,000 Islands

Updated: May 24

Elon Musk announces Starlink satellite internet service in Indonesia, which connects rural areas. Starlink's low-orbit satellites will give high-speed internet connectivity over Indonesia's 17,000 islands. Musk highlights the promise of internet connectivity in the healthcare and education sectors.

Musk visited the stunning resort island of Bali, where he was greeted with a garland of flower petals at a community health centre in Denpasar, the provincial capital. Indonesian ministers attended the inaugural event, which represented a significant milestone for the world's biggest archipelago nation.


Indonesia, with its huge span of 17,000 islands scattered over three time zones and a population of over 270 million, has long sought partnerships with Musk's firms. To serve its rural regions, the nation has sought battery investment from Tesla as well as rapid internet connectivity from SpaceX.


During the inaugural ceremony, Musk participated in a speed test of the Starlink internet connection alongside health workers from Indonesia's rural districts, including the unserviced island of Aru in Maluku province. Musk highlighted his excitement for the potential impact of the service, saying, "This can make it really a lifesaver for remote medical clinics, and I think it could be a possibility for education as well. If you can access the internet, you can learn anything and sell your business services worldwide. So, I think it's going to be incredibly beneficial."


In addition to the launch, Musk struck an agreement to improve connection in Indonesia's healthcare and education sectors. While specifics of the arrangement have not been published, the move is consistent with Starlink's aim of offering inexpensive access to high-speed internet services, particularly in underdeveloped and distant areas.


Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, emphasised the importance of Starlink in expanding high-speed internet services in Indonesia's remote areas. He stated, "Our remote regions need Starlink to expand high-speed internet services, especially to help with problems in the health, education, and maritime sectors." Pandjaitan, a strong ally of President Joko Widodo, met with Musk separately during his visit.


Budi Arie Setiadi, Indonesia's Communication and Informatics Minister, emphasised the challenges faced by local internet providers in reaching the distant islands due to poor coverage. Starlink's low-orbit satellites will play a critical role in bridging the digital divide by providing faster internet with statewide coverage.


Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin stressed the importance of internet connection in the healthcare sector. He disclosed that nearly 2,700 of the country's 10,000 clinics do not have internet connectivity. Sadikin argues that the internet may significantly increase access to health services and enable real-time reporting from healthcare facilities.


Musk's travel to Bali coincided with his attendance at the 10th World Water Forum, where global water and sanitation concerns were discussed. This visit comes after recent discussions between other tech industry heavyweights and Indonesian officials, including Apple CEO Tim Cook and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, which highlighted Indonesia's expanding prominence in the digital technology and information industries.


Indonesia, led by President Joko Widodo, has actively promoted the growth of digital technology and information sectors as part of its Golden Indonesia 2045 Vision. A century after obtaining independence from Dutch colonisers, the country hopes to be one of the world's top five economies, with a GDP of up to US$9 trillion.

 
  • Elon Musk launches Starlink satellite internet service in Indonesia, connecting remote regions

  • Starlink's low-orbit satellites to provide high-speed internet access in Indonesia's 17,000 islands

  • Musk emphasises the potential of internet connectivity for healthcare and education sectors


Source: AP NEWS

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