About 120 Starlink satellites are being deployed to help with Hurricane relief.
- Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are working together to restore satellite Internet connectivity to parts of Southwest Florida severely affected by Hurricane Ian.
- “We are working with Elon Musk and Starlink satellite. They are positioning those Starlink satellites to provide good coverage in Southwest Florida and other affected areas. We are expecting 120 additional large Starlink units to deploy to Southwest Florida,” says Gov. DeSantis.
- These regions of the state with 865,000 residents were still without power as of Sunday morning, The New Yorks Times reports.
- “Parts of Florida have struggled to get cell service following the devastation from Hurricane Ian to emergency command units across Florida. As more people gain internet access, the state is requesting that they document when missing people have been found safe,” says ABC affiliate WFTS Tampa Bay.
Why it’s important
The restored Internet connection from Starlink will help in rescue and relief efforts and help restore communications for thousands of residents.
“This isn’t the first time SpaceX has lent a hand during a crisis. The company also aided war-torn Ukraine earlier this year, delivering thousands of Starlink satellite kits following Russia’s invasion in February,” says Business Insider.
“Florida could become the latest place to benefit from the satellites as they play an increasingly important role around the world. Musk appeared to hint he would activate Starlink as Iranians protested against the government following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while she was in police custody,” says Newsweek.
Backing up a bit
As we previously reported, Hurricane Ian pummeled coastal towns in Florida, businesses closed, roads were impassible, and shoppers could not go out—temporarily devastating the economy. Some areas may have suffered between $25 to 40 billion in uninsured damages and the state is facing areas of power outages and blocked roads, impeded relief efforts, and cutting off sections of the state from communications.
T-Mobile and SpaceX announced in August that they will use Starlink satellites to provide service to T-Mobile customers who may be outside of the wireless service range.