Rwanda to launch Starlink pilot and provide internet access to 500 schools

After going live in Nigeria, Starlink is expanding to the rest of Africa. According to government officials, the service is coming to Rwanda, but schools will be among the first beneficiaries. According to Paula Ingabire, Kenyan Minister of ICT and Innovation, at least 500 schools will participate in a pilot test of the fast satellite internet service.

SpaceX was granted the license to operate in the country earlier this month. The company planned to roll out before the end of the first quarter of 2023, and according to Ingabire that will happen on February 22.

Ingabire described Starlink in an appearance at a plenary session as very high in capacity and relatively more affordable than existing broadband services. These made Starlink the best fit for primary and secondary schools that struggle with or do not have internet access. Schools that have internet connection also face huge bills.

Starlink is entering a Rwandan broadband market where services cost Rwf48,000 per month for up to 150 Mbps.

Meanwhile, Ngabire expects other organizations to sign up for Starlink, including health facilities and public institutions.

Out of 6,756 schools in Kenya, about 3,000 are not connected to the internet.

Diana Nawatti, the Principal at Mother Mary International School, a private school in Kigali, told The New Times that: “As an international school with expensive practical resources to use in our teaching, a speedy reliable connection gives learners access to more information with all educational materials by just a click.” (via NewTimes)

“Learners get first-hand information without a cost so does the school; this is more important in research work, assignments and numerous other projects. With available resources, learning is fun and meaningful, thanks to a speedy network.”

Starlink now providing internet to schools in the Amazon region

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