SpaceX’s Starlink Internet service has emerged as a vital component in Japan’s restoration efforts in the aftermath of the recent earthquake,. The seamless integration of Starlink services by Japanese telecommunications giant KDDI has proven instrumental in overcoming communication challenges and facilitating a swift recovery process.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter), KDDI said it was deploying Starlink kits to affected areas, where the service would be available to anyone free of charge. On January 7, dozens of Starlink kits arrived at the Ishikawa Prefecture to provide disaster relief assistance, the company wrote.
According to Shugo Takagi, Deputy Manager at KDDI, the company has sent around 200 of its staff to the area to assist with setting up the services, and has already distributed more than 150 Starlink kits, and made another 60 available for rent.
■スペースXとKDDI 能登半島の避難所にStarlink 350台を無償提供— KDDI公式 (@official_kddi) January 7, 2024
KDDI’s decision to deploy Starlink services reflects a strategic move to address the immediate need for robust and reliable connectivity in the affected regions. As traditional communication infrastructures faced disruptions during the earthquake, the versatility of Starlink’s satellite-based internet proved invaluable in maintaining essential lines of communication. This technology ensured that rescue and relief operations could continue unabated, allowing authorities to coordinate efforts efficiently.
One of the key advantages of Starlink lies in its ability to establish a rapid and resilient internet connection in areas with compromised or non-existent terrestrial networks. In the aftermath of a natural disaster, such as Japan’s earthquake, where ground infrastructure was damaged, Starlink’s satellite constellation ensures that affected communities can quickly regain access to the internet.
While internet connectivity may seem like a luxury in situations like this, it is crucial for disseminating critical information, coordinating emergency response activities, and keeping the public informed about safety measures.
Another one of Elon Musk’s companies, Tesla, has also stepped up in the aftermath of the earthquake, making their Superchargers in the affected areas free for EV owners.