Ratu Wiliame commends Musk for expanding Starlink connectivity

Ratu Wiliame commends Musk for expanding Starlink connectivity

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Wednesday 22/05/2024
Founder of Starlink, Elon Musk (center left) and President Ratu Wiliame Maivalili Katonivere (center right). [Image: Fiji Government]

President Ratu Wiliame Maivalili Katonivere has commended the founder of Starlink, Elon Musk, for creating opportunities for wider bandwidth connectivity and high-speed internet connections in remote and rural areas of Fiji.

This achievement is made possible through Starlink’s massive satellite network, which now covers 100 countries.

In a meeting with Musk at the Saint Regis Resort in Nusa Dusa, Bali, Ratu Wiliame highlighted Starlink as a proven solution for providing services during natural disasters.

He also noted the network's durability, demonstrated after the underwater volcano disaster in Tonga in 2021.

While meeting with the President, Musk says that Starlink views the internet as a necessity for financial services and e-commerce, citing the loss of internet connectivity that costs billions of dollars for six East African countries following the cutting of an undersea cable last week.

He says a stopover in Fiji in October on their route to the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) conference in Samoa would provide an opportunity to engage in further interaction.

Musk believes that when Fiji takes the lead, others in the region will follow.

He says Starlink sees a chance to benefit from the gathering of 56 Heads of Government at the Apia for the Commonwealth Heads of Government conference this year, noting the shared history and ideals that make the Commonwealth an amicable partner.

Ratu Wiliame praised Musk for Starlink's launch in Bali, which now connects remote areas of Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago with 17,000 islands and 280 million people.

Other potential areas of cooperation that can be raised in the future – are climate adaptation benefits such as cutting-edge Tesla technology of solar power generation and battery storage. Rural education communication and desalination are others to consider.

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