Elon Musk donating Starlink satellites to SWFL

Published: October 1, 2022 4:44 PM EDT
DeSantis held a press conference in Fort Myers on Saturday. (CREDIT: Screen grab from Facebook)

Starlink satellites will soon be helping Southwest Florida emergency responders in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

WTSP reports that Gov. Ron DeSantis made an announcement during a press conference on Saturday that Elon Musk and SpaceX were donating more than 100 large Starlink units to the area to bridge connectivity issues since Ian swept through the region.

Starlink is a satellite constellation that delivers high-speed broadband internet to users. DeSantis said that Starlink was positioning those satellites in several affected areas.

Musk and his company, SpaceX, have donated the cost associated with the coverage, said DeSantis.

According to DeSantis, one Starlink unit in a community has a radius of 13 miles and can support more than 1,000 users at any given time.

The units are expected to deploy to several counties, including Lee and Charlotte counties, as well as search and rescue agencies, DeSantis said.

Other companies are also pitching in help amid the recovery effort.

Unity Fiber provided free broadband access to users and Verizon has launched drones that provide cellular coverage from the air in various areas.