And the next one’s in the books. SpaceX, via its Twitter account, just announced that it would make Starlink available to those living in Ecuador.
Starlink will be rolled out across the entire country, meaning both on the mainland as well as off the cost across the Galapagos islands, which traditionally had to grapple with very slow internet speeds.
The service will cost $60 per month for the Residential plan. On top of that, subscribers will have to pay $355 for the hardware and $22 for shipping and handling.
SpaceX continues to expand at a rapid clip. Just last week, it introduced Starlink in Haiti. The next proverbial shoe to drop is Panama, which is slated for a Q1 2023 launch according to Starlink’s availability map.
Meanwhile, Ecuador’s Ministry of Telecommunications is working together with SpaceX to set up Starlink across the entire Galapagos islands, which are visited by more than 250,000 people every year.
It remains unclear whether the Ecuadorian government will fund some of those operations or, like last year, will largely just oversee spending by third parties. In 2022 alone, the private sector and government spent a combined $900 million on improving telecom infrastructure.
The country’s Telecommunications Minister, Vianna Maino, assured that Starlink’s presence in Ecuador underlines the government’s commitment to “creating up-to-date regulatory environments that attract investment in the sector.”
“These inclusive public policies, in turn, make it possible to reduce the digital divide in peripheral and difficult-to-access areas,” she added (translated from Spanish).
One interesting aspect to observe is whether boat owners, who have traditionally been using the Roam/RV plan to use Starlink while at sea, will still be able to access the internet when docking on Ecuadorian soil.