South African businessman Elon Musk is in Brazil to meet with President Jair Bolsonaro, politicians and businessmen. So far, a partnership has been announced with Starlink, a company that is part of SpaceX (space company) and offers broadband internet via satellite.
This structure, according to Elon Musk, will be used to monitor the Amazon and provide internet to 19,000 schools in rural areas.
In a press release, the Ministry of Communications confirmed the information, saying that “advanced technology will be used for the preservation of the Amazon rainforest, with monitoring of deforestation and illegal fires”.
There are still no details on how this will work, given that so far Starlink promotes internet access via satellite, and SpaceX, another Musk company, does spaceflight. Not even the values of this agreement were disclosed.
This morning, Musk tweeted that he was “excited to be in Brazil” to “launch Starlink”.
Super excited to be in Brazil for launch of Starlink for 19,000 unconnected schools in rural areas & environmental monitoring of Amazon! ??
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 20, 2022
Internet in northern Brazil
The North region lacks telecommunications infrastructure. The Brazilian government even has a program called Norte Conectado, which tries to improve infrastructure to increase internet access in this area of Brazil.
Among the initiatives are the implementation of subfluvial fiber optics (which is also one of the counterparts of the 5G auction held in Brazil). .
Starlink’s role, in this case, would be to help expand the connection in Amazonas and region, given that subfluvial fiber optics must be implemented gradually.
Starlink has been operating in Brazil since February
Starlink started providing service to Brazilian users in February, after authorization from Anatel (Agência Nacional das Telecomunicações).
One of the company’s differentials is to provide internet through a constellation of small satellites, which orbit the Earth at a distance of about 550 km — in contrast, geostationary satellites are located at an altitude of 35,000 km.
As a result, the company achieves speeds of around 100 Mbps (megabits per second), while stationary satellite companies have speeds of around 20 Mbps, according to a survey by Ookla, developer of the Speedtest app, which measures internet speed in different parts of the world. world.
Musk’s company, however, is the target of criticism, as astronomical observations are hampered by the large volume of satellites in orbit. There are even experts who say that Starlink equipment can damage Earth’s defense against asteroids.
Musk’s relationship with Brazil
Last year, Communications Minister Fabio Faria met with Musk to talk about opportunities for using Starlink in Brazil.
At the time, Faria pointed out that the businessman would come to the country to connect “rural schools and protect the Amazon”.
Coming soon, @elonmusk will be in Brazil to connect rural schools and protect the Amazon using SpaceX/Starlink technology.
to people not @govbr there is no optimism and no pessimism, we make it happen!!!
I believe in Brazil!! pic.twitter.com/qjEUAPAlBc
— Fábio Faria (@fabiofaria) November 16, 2021
Earlier this year, in April, the governor of Amazonas, Wilson Lima, said that Musk showed interest in bringing SpaceX to Brazil in a tweet.
In addition to not giving up the jobs generated in the ZFM, we continue to work to attract new investments. @elonmusk showed interest in bringing SpaceX here and we will work to consolidate this business. Come and discover the Amazon! The Amazon is calling you.
— Wilson Lima (@wilsonlimaAM) May 1, 2022