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Rachit Vats

Elon Musk Offers Starlink Help To Tonga Amid Internet Crisis But Here's Why He Needs A 'Clear Confirmation'

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Friday offered to help South Pacific island nation Tonga restore the internet services on an emergency basis using the Starlink services but said he needs a "clear confirmation." 

What Happened: Tonga’s internet services have been disrupted for nearly five days after it was hit by an underwater volcanic eruption and a tsunami on Jan. 15, which cut off the island’s telecommunication link with the rest of the world.

Musk was responding to a request by Shane Reti, a member of the New Zealand parliament to provide Starlink-based internet connections on an urgent basis. Tonga is located about 1,100 miles from New Zealand's north island.

The billionaire entrepreneur said Starlink currently does not have enough satellites with laser links to serve the Tonga region but asked for a clear confirmation. He had previously tweeted to ask Tonga residents if it is important for SpaceX to send over Starlink terminals.

See Also: Elon Musk's SpaceX Sends Another 49 Starlink Satellites To Space, Reusable Falcon 9 Lands Back On Earth

Why It Matters: The world’s richest person's space venture Starlink is capable of beaming high-speed internet from low orbit satellites to remote areas on earth or places hit by emergencies. 

Musk recently said the service would be expanded to 14 countries and that the company is awaiting licences in several other countries.

Starlink is known to have launched over 1,500 satellites. The company hopes to have 4,425 satellites in orbit by 2024. The Federal Communications Commission has approved 11,943 satellites to be launched by Starlink.

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