SpaceX is talking with Zambia officials, offering Starlink’s internet services to the country.
Recently, Jito Kayumba—the Special Assistant to the Republic of Zambia—tweeted about SpaceX and the country’s officials meeting about Starlink services.
“Our President’s engagement with the team from SpaceX and their Starlink initiative will escalate Zambia’s position in the digital economy and enable universal access to internet and other technologies. Grateful for this initiative from visionary entrepreneur Elon Musk,” tweeted Kayumba.
Elon Musk responded to Kayumba’s tweet, expressing his excitement for SpaceX’s Starlink service’s availability to the people of Zambia.
Internet in Zambia
According to DataReportal, Zambia had 5.47 million internet users as of January 2022. The number of internet users in the country increased by 5.4% between 2021 and 2022. At the beginning of the year, 71.5% of the population remained offline.
Zambia’s media mobile internet connection speed through cellular networks was 12.08 Mbps, up by 3.94 Mbps compared to late 2021. The country’s median fixed internet connection speed was 4.65 Mbps, down by 2.14 Mbps versus late last year. With such internet speeds, Starlink’s high-speed connection will definitely be appreciated in Zambia.
Prosperity Through the Internet
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools shifted from face-to-face classes to online learning platforms for distance learning. In 2020, the Save the Children of Zambia organization reported that only 0.8% of children from poor households had access to the internet to attend online classes.
Online classes were introduced across schools in Zambia in 2012-2013. When the pandemic hit, the country still lacked the necessary infrastructure to support distance learning.
Internet Society believes expanding internet access throughout Zambia would make education more affordable along with other benefits. It argues that access to the internet would give the people of Zambia access to health and shopping services, increase their productivity, and bring about technological development.
Starlink is now available on all seven continents, even Antarctica—aka “The Ice.” SpaceX recently installed a Starlink terminal at the McMurdo Station on the south tip of Ross Island in Antarctica.