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Elon Musk visits Indonesia for launch of Starlink Internet services

Elon Musk traveled to Indonesia on Sunday to mark the launch of Starlink services on its thousands of islands. Photo by Made Nagi/EPA-EFE
Elon Musk traveled to Indonesia on Sunday to mark the launch of Starlink services on its thousands of islands. Photo by Made Nagi/EPA-EFE

May 20 (UPI) -- Touting the importance of connectivity to remote parts of the world, Elon Musk announced that his Starlink satellite Internet service was up and running in Indonesia.

Musk joined other Indonesian leaders at a community health center in Bali on Sunday, saying that the Internet in such facilities connecting it to the outside world can make the difference between life and death.

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Indonesia has a population of more than 270 million on some 17,000 islands over three time zones. Millions live in rural locations where they have limited Internet access and no service at all in some cases. Starlink, which is already providing service to the Philippines and Malaysia, has changed that, Musk said.

"It's really important to emphasize the importance of Internet connectivity and how much of a life-changer and lifesaver it can be," Musk to local media in a video released on X. "When you have access to the Internet ... you can learn anything. All the MIT lectures are online. ... If you are not connected, it's very difficult to learn.

"If you have goods and services you want to sell to the world, even if you're in a remote village, you can now do so with an Internet connection."

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Starlink posted an interactive map on the social media platform X showing it wide coverage area across the Indonesian archipelago, the world's largest.

Indonesia's Communication Minister Budi Arie Setiadi said while Starlink is now available commercially, the government will focus on boosting use in outlying and underdeveloped areas.

"Our remote regions need Starlink to expand high-speed Internet service, especially to help with problems in health, education, and maritime sectors," Indonesia's Chief Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, said, according to The Independent.

Starlink also announced going live in Fiji, across the 300 islands that make up that country in the Pacific Ocean as well. Starlink said Fiji made the 99th country or territory where Starlink is now available.

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