SpaceX Provides Kits To Increase Internet Capacity In Hard-Hit Areas | News


SpaceX is providing Starlink satellite kits to areas hit hard by last Friday’s tornadoes that will help people access the internet. It also provides routers to provide WiFi capabilities.

The kits provide satellite dishes that connect to SpaceX Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit, which directly provide Internet and WiFi services.

These kits will be delivered to Graves County, Marshall County, Caldwell County, and Bowling Green through a coordinated effort with SpaceX, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the University of Ottawa Cooperative Extension Service. Kentucky.

Twenty kits were brought to the UK’s Co-operative Extension Office in Paducah on Wednesday, and another 30-40 have been requested by the state.

Austin Marshall, a native of Possum Trot and a material flow engineer for SpaceX in Redmond, Wash., Was one of the people to deliver the first of the kits to the Paducah expansion office.

Marshall is a former member of 4-H and contacted the UK office Cooperative Extension to help with the distribution.

“I love to come home, but I wish the circumstances were better,” he said. “It was I who put everything in place. I saw that there was a need.

“That’s what we’re doing, is building a satellite Internet constellation. It is currently in beta; we are testing it in the northern latitudes of North America and other countries. It’s the first time it’s in Kentucky, and they just activated that area because of the disaster.

Marshall contacted Brittany Osborne, the 4-H Youth Development Officer at the Paducah Extension Office.

“The UK Cooperative Extension Service has an office in each of the affected Kentucky counties,” Osborne said. “This effort just makes sense and allows us even more to do what we do best to help our neighbors and our communities.”

Starlink kits will remain in the affected areas for two months. If they are needed longer than that, the teams will reassess the situation.






The parabolic part of the kit is tilted to better receive signals from the SpaceX Starlink satellite in low earth orbit.



To maximize reach, the University of Kentucky works closely with Kentucky Emergency Management and Connected Nation, a nonprofit organization that provides tools and resources to help local communities, states, and federal agencies create and to implement solutions for their shortcomings in broadband and digital technology.

“We are very grateful that Starlink has provided this connectivity to our hard-hit communities,” said Laura Stephenson, Associate Dean and Director of Extension at the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, adding that “4-H creates servant leaders for life, and this is a great example of how 4-Hers responds to the call for help, even after leaving our system.

Follow David B. Snow on Twitter, @SunWithSnow, or on Facebook at facebook.com/sunwithsnow.

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