Satellite company Starlink, led by world's one of the richest entrepreneurs Elon Musk, will focus on 10 rural Lok Sabha constituencies to provide internet services, according to a top company official. The company is also looking to hold virtual conversations with Members of Parliament, ministers and top government officials over the importance of broadband connectivity in changing lives in rural areas.
The SpaceX's satellite broadband arm aims to start broadband service in India from December 2022, with 2 lakh active terminals subject to permission from the government. Starlink Country Director for India Sanjay Bhargava on Sunday said, "In October I am also keen to have 30-minute virtual conversations with MPs, ministers, secretaries to GOI (government of India), or principal secretaries to states to see if they think 100 per cent broadband would help improve lives. We will probably focus on ten rural Lok Sabha constituencies for 80 per cent of the Starlink terminals shipped to India."
In an earlier social media post, Bhargava had said that the pre-order from India has crossed 5,000 and the company was keen to work in rural areas for providing broadband services. However, he expressed uncertainty over the target number of terminals if the company does not get permission from the government to start satellite-based service in India.
The company is charging a deposit of USD 99 or Rs 7,350 per customer and claims to deliver data speeds in the range of 50 to 150 megabit per second in beta stage. "The number of pre-orders from rural constituencies will be one factor that helps us select focus constituencies," Bhargava said.