SpaceX in Discussions to Join the United Kingdom’s $6.9 Billion ‘Project Gigabit’ for Rural Internet Access

SpaceX is currently in talks with the UK government about expanding Starlink, its satellite internet service, to rural areas as part of Project Gigabit’s plan.

Project Gigabit aims to bring faster internet access to over one million homes and businesses in rural areas of the UK. On Friday, the UK’s minister for digital infrastructure met with SpaceX, and later that day, it was revealed that Starlink was under consideration.

If Starlink joins Project Gigabit, SpaceX will benefit from government funding and be able to speed up its coverage in the UK. In the United States, it received nearly $900 million in December 2020 from the US Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) to provide internet services in underserved communities.

However, local internet providers in the US, oppose Starlink’s funding. They claim that SpaceX employs “unproven” technology.

Regardless, the UK’s culture secretary says that Starlink is one of the best ways to bring internet access to hard-to-reach communities. Other options include balloons, autonomous aircraft, and OneWeb, another satellite company.

While negotiations are still ongoing, SpaceX has already signed a contract with Arqiva, a British telecommunications company. It has agreed to build ground stations and infrastructures to connect satellites to fibre networks and servers.

Source: Business Insider

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