Native American Tribe Gets Early Access to SpaceX’s Starlink and Says It’s Fast

Native American Tribe Gets Early Access to SpaceX's Starlink and Says It's Fast

According to a Native American tribe in Washington state, SpaceX’s upcoming satellite internet service can indeed supply fast internet to remote areas. 

The Hoh tribe, on Wednesday, tweeted that SpaceX’s Starlink network has been supplying fast broadband to local residents in the area.

“Our children can participate in remote learning, residents can access healthcare,” the Hoh tribe said. “SpaceX Starlink made it happen overnight.”

This tribe stays on the coast of Washington state. The residents in a follow-up tweet said that they used to get internet speeds as slow as 0.3 to 0.7Mbps. But now, it seems to be improved a lot.

The Washington State Department of Commerce posted a video documenting how Starlink has increased the tribe’s internet speeds.

“The last eight years I feel like we have been paddling upriver with a spoon, and almost getting nowhere with getting internet to the reservation,” said Melvinjohn Ashue, vice chairman of the Hoh Tribe.

As an effort to solve their problem, the state department introduced Starlink team to the tribe and that gave the tribe early access to the satellite network

“It seemed like out of nowhere SpaceX just came up and catapulted us into the 21st century,” Ashue said of the speed increase. 

Though the tribe hasn’t given exact numbers on how fast the Starlink internet speeds have been, but SpaceX claims that the satellite network is currently capable of delivering 100Mbps download speeds at a latency below 30 milliseconds. This speed is on par with ground-based internet. 

For now, Starlink remains unavailable to the public. But on Monday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said the company plans to kick off beta trials soon for residents based in the northern US and possibly southern Canada. Currently, you can sign up for email updates from SpaceX to learn about beta availability. 

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  1. This is so exciting. It must feel like a technology gates have opened. For those who live outside the US like in Northern Baja California, how long until we can sign up?