The Muscowpetung Saulteaux Nation in Saskatchewan is set to get access to high-speed internet through Starlink, the world’s first and largest satellite-based broadband internet service.
The First Nation, located about 45 kilometres northeast of Regina, has been working on a partnership with SpaceX, the company that operates Starlink, since May 2022.
Muscowpetung Chief Melissa Tavita said she was happy to announce the agreement with Starlink.
“Muscowpetung is investing in an exciting infrastructure plan that will not only advance our people, but the local economy as well,” Tavita said. “It is our hope that this proactive step shines a light on the need for substantive equality for our people.”
The goal of Muscowpetung’s leadership team was to provide better internet access to its member on-reserve. Most importantly, the community wants to give their children better access to other forms of higher learning.
The First Nation will provide 127 on-reserve housing units with the Starlink hardware so they can obtain its high-speed, low-latency internet service.
Muscowpetung Saulteaux Business Development president & CEO Myke Agecoutay said this is an exciting infrastructure advancement for the nation.
“When we reached out to SpaceX and Starlink, there weren’t too many Indigenous nations or even communities connected with them,” Agecoutay said. “I don’t know if that’s because of the limited service right now, but it being an Indigenous community, SpaceX saw that as an opportunity to partner.”
SpaceX CEO shares the news on his Twitter
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who has recently been in the news for his acquisition of Twitter, retweeted the announcement.
All of the affected homes should have the Starlink equipment set up by the end of the first week of January 2023.
The costs of the hardware and services for this project comes from revenue through the Muscowpetung Saulteaux Business Developments.
The internet services will be provided free for one year to the units on reserve.
“It’s been exciting for us. We didn’t expect it to be this quick and this fast, especially finding out that other regions haven’t gotten their orders or are on a backlog for in some cases a year,” Agecoutay said.
“We’re quite pleased with it.”