The British Columbia government has turned to SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service to enhance the connectivity of several key highway webcam sites. The province’s Avalanche and Weather Programs team has also embraced this technology for their roadside weather stations.
Before the adoption of Starlink, highway webcams located in remote areas of the province without traditional landline internet access had relied on satellite connections provided by another service provider. However, the existing satellite system encountered numerous technical failures, leaving these essential highway webcams without a dependable connection. With no viable alternatives to improve service from their previous provider, the Ministry of Transportation sought an innovative solution to restore connectivity to these sites.
Earlier this spring the Ministry of Transportation began integrating Starlink connectivity into its highway webcam infrastructure. So far several sites on Vancouver Island, including Crest Lake, Gold River Highway, Tsitika, Kennedy Lake, and Menzies Hill, have transitioned to the Starlink system. Additionally, Highway 3 at Bromley Rock also benefits from Starlink connectivity, as well as the traffic cameras at Cayoosh Pass on Highway 99, as seen below.
While it is still relatively early in the implementation process, a government spokesperson told Drive Tesla that initial assessments of Starlink’s performance have been promising. The Ministry is closely monitoring the reliability, speed, and overall performance of the Starlink connection, and that a comprehensive evaluation is planned after one full year of operation to determine the technology’s long-term viability and effectiveness in meeting the Ministry’s communication needs.
The Ministry of Transportation isn’t the only government entity in British Columbia utilizing Starlink. The Avalanche and Weather Programs team has also embraced this technology for their roadside weather stations. The Kennedy Lake, Menzies Hill, and Bromley Rock sites have weather stations equipped with attached cameras that provide the Ministry of Transportation with live video feeds.
Incorporating SpaceX’s Starlink into British Columbia’s transportation infrastructure marks a significant step toward enhancing connectivity and communication in remote areas of the province. As the technology continues to evolve and mature, it promises to play a vital role in ensuring the safety and efficiency of the province’s transportation network while facilitating various other essential functions for government agencies and communities throughout the region.
The British Columbia government now joins the Canadian government and Fisheries and Oceans Canada which also utilizes Starlink to monitor fish populations in remote areas.