Musk Launches Starlink in Indonesia

    Musk Launches Starlink in Indonesia
    Image copyright: John Keeble/Contributor/Getty Images News via Getty Images Europe

    The Facts

    • Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk was in Indonesia Sunday as he and Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin announced the launch of SpaceX's Starlink satellite services in the Southeast Asian nation.

    • Musk, wearing a green Batik shirt, made the declaration with several Indonesian ministers during a ceremony at a community health clinic in Bali. He noted the importance of bringing connectivity to remote areas.


    The Spin

    Narrative A

    SpaceX's Starlink satellite will bring internet service to millions of Indonesians who were previously isolated. It's difficult to overstate the impact of providing connectivity to remote areas, and Elon Musk could end up saving thousands, if not millions, of lives, by giving internet access to hospitals and clinics across Indonesia. Sunday’s launch was a momentous occasion that will help cross the digital divide and catapult Indonesia's economy.

    Narrative B

    The long-term implications of Starlink's launch remain unknown, but it seems like the immediate impact is just a new internet satellite that costs twice as much as alternatives. Consumer costs of Starlink internet are currently double most providers, and it's hard to envision how such an expensive service can be brought to remote areas that didn't have internet access to begin with. The government is hopeful about Starlink, but let's wait before celebrating its launch in Indonesia.


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