To restore internet, Elon Musk offers to send Starlink terminals to volcano-hit Tonga. See what happens next

WION Web Team
New York Updated: Jan 22, 2022, 09:36 AM(IST)

Technical staff from SpaceX and the Tonga Government were working on installing the equipment to have it operational from next week. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The post of billionaire Elon Musk on Twitter went viral soon. From all over the world, numerous Tongans replied to the tweet with requests for help to reestablish communication as it could help to contact families and coordinate assistance

As the recent volcanic eruption snapped the communication links of Tonga with the rest of the world, billionaire Elon Musk has offered to send Starlink internet terminals to the country.  

To a story that Tonga may have to live without internet for a month, the entrepreneur wrote on Twitter, “Could people from Tonga let us know if it is important for SpaceX to send over Starlink terminals?”  

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Soon, the post went viral. From all over the world, numerous Tongans replied to the tweet with requests for help to reestablish communication as it could help to contact families and coordinate assistance. 

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Lord Fusitu’a, a politician from Tonga also said, “Yes we need them to get liquidity in to purchase much-needed goods. Voice and data completely down with undersea cable severed.”  

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Fusitu’a also requested for direct contact with Musk to coordinate assistance as he was organising an airdrop of ham radios for basic communications.   

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Josephine Latu-Sanft, a communications specialist from Tonga, suggested to give internet to people until the undersea cable gets repaired and then work with partners to establish robust communications infrastructure across Pacific.   

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In response, Musk wrote, “This is a hard thing for us to do right now, as we don’t have enough satellites with laser links and there are already geo sats that serve the Tonga region. That is why I’m asking for clear confirmation.”  

(With inputs from agencies) 

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