AVERY COUNTY — An innovative partnership between Elon Musk’s satellite internet service Starlink and the state of North Carolina is bringing satellite internet service to two rural NC counties through a program that could likely have impacts in Avery, Ashe and Watauga counties in the not too distant future.
The program, known as the Satellite Internet Technologies for Student Connectivity Pilot, will provide students in the Swain County and Hyde County school systems access to Space Exploration Technologies Corporation’s, (SpaceX) Starlink internet service.
Funding for the program was made available through the CARES Act and implementation of the technology will be made possible through the North Carolina Department of Information Technology (NCDIT) and the Friday Institute at NC State University, among other state organizations.
“High-speed internet is a critical tool that our students need to succeed in these challenging times and into the future,” Governor Roy Cooper stated. “Innovative programs like this pilot with SpaceX can connect students and residents to high-quality, reliable internet service to help with remote learning, telehealth, job opportunities and more.”