The current protest in Iran has led to the government turning off internet access in the country but Elon Musk’s Starlink is attempting to help information circulate in the country by providing free satellite internet.
The popularity of the service is becoming so popular in recent weeks to the point that it’s having slow internet speed as it aims to provide internet access in the U.S. school buses and in Iran.
Following the U.S. government easing sanctions in Iran, Elon Musk made it known that Starlink will be activated in the country.
We took action today to advance Internet freedom and the free flow of information for the Iranian people, issuing a General License to provide them greater access to digital communications to counter the Iranian government’s censorship.— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) September 23, 2022
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The protest in Iran is caused by the death of Masha Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was killed by Iranian police over a loose Hijab.
The result led to many Iranians protesting the Hijab laws while protesting on social networking platforms by outright burning their hijabs to show their solidarity and distaste for the government’s action.
This quickly led the government to cut off internet access in the country which ultimately led to the shutdown of platforms such as WhatsApp and Instagram.
Starlink has decided to come to the aid of the people of Iran just like it did in Ukraine. Also, the company is on the verge of providing internet access to school buses stateside.
In May, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Jessica Rosenworcel proposed using funding for schools and libraries to equip buses with WiFi, according to the New York Post.
SpaceX implored the FCC to make this move and make Starlink equipment available on school buses. This was shared in a letter sent to the commission this week.
The purpose is to help bridge the country’s digital divide as well as provide internet access to Americans and children who don’t have access in their homes.
What SpaceX hasn’t clarified, however, is how it will keep up internet speeds with this proposed spike in use, given that they’ve already slowed this year.