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Indonesia Welcomes Musk’s Starlink Internet Services; Tesla CEO eager to invest more

Elon Musk’s SpaceX’s Starlink launched in Indonesia on Sunday, responding to the Southeast Asian country’s aim to improve internet connectivity, especially in remote areas.

The inauguration, which Elon Musk himself attended, took place at a community health center in Bali. Tesla’s CEO told local media that he was actually “very excited” to bring connectivity to previously unreached areas, underscoring that internet connectivity could be a “life saver” for medical clinics in remote locations, CNBC reported.

In addition to a health center in Bali, another location where Starlink was launched was on the remote island of Aru in Maluku.

“It is very important to emphasize the importance of internet connectivity and how much of a life changer and life saver it can be,” Musk told Kompas TV Sukabumi, a local media in Indonesia.

Budi Arie Setiadi, Indonesia’s Minister of Communications and Informatics, said Starlink could help the country provide more connectivity services in areas where there is limited or no internet access. Starlink would help the government provide connectivity to areas not yet served by local internet providers, reports Antara, a local Indonesian news agency.

Indonesia is known as the largest archipelago in the world with 17,000 islands, and connectivity issues are one of the problems. There is an ‘urban-rural connectivity gap’, which highlights the different experiences of people in rural and urban areas in terms of internet connectivity.

During the launch, CNN reported that a video presentation showed how having high internet speed would allow for real-time data entry, which could benefit and address health issues more quickly.

Setiadi debunked rumors and concerns about local internet service providers, who claimed that Starlink’s entry could harm their operations.

Musk was also asked if he had plans to invest in Indonesia’s electric car industry, to which he replied that he was focusing on Starlink first.

“We’re focusing this event on Starlink and the benefits that connectivity brings to remote islands,” Musk said.

Although he emphasized the need to focus on Starlink first, Musk did not close the doors on possible future investments.

“It is very likely that my companies will invest in Indonesia,” the tech mogul said.

In addition to Indonesia, there were already two Southeast Asian countries where Starlink has been made available. These are Malaysia and the Philippines.

Starlink is also widely used in Ukraine. Some of the entities that use Starlink are those in hospitals, the military, aid organizations and corporations.