Hoh Tribe, WA EMS connect to Starlink
“In September, interested residents signed up for the service, and Starlink satellites were installed on 18 of the 23 houses on the reservation. Their internet speed has improved dramatically: Ashue says he recently measured download speeds as fast as 111 Mbps.
Tribal leadership is optimistic, but Starlink is still in beta testing stage. Ashue says the tribe wants to make sure that residents have options. The tribe still plans to build out a microwave internet network, a project it began early in the pandemic, before connecting with SpaceX.
Opportunities like Starlink are usually outliers. For many tribes, Elliott says the first issue in creating broadband infrastructure isn’t building the network itself — it’s the surrounding infrastructural planning, and that can take years.
“Building it is the easy part,” he says. “It’s the planning, getting all the right-of-ways, and then getting funds…. There’s a lot of work that has to get done in long-term infrastructure.”
This is particularly difficult for rural tribes and rural communities in general. Elliott explains that unlike public infrastructure, such as roads or schools, expansion of broadband throughout the United States has largely been shepherded by private investment.” Read more
From the Seattle Times:
“And at its beta-testing price, analysts said, the service could be viewed favorably in the United States, particularly in areas where internet access is difficult or impossible to come by.
Some of Starlink’s early users include the Ector County Independent School District in Texas, the Hoh tribe in western Washington and Washington’s Emergency Management Division, which tweeted last month that Starlink service helped emergency responders as they started to rebuild the town of Malden after a wildfire.” Read More