Ten rural schools in Kazakhstan have been connected to broadband internet using SpaceX’s Starlink technology, owned by Elon Musk. The announcement was made during a government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Alihan Smailov. The meeting also discussed the challenges of implementing 5G technology.
The rural schools were connected to the internet in October of this year, but are still in a testing phase. The broadband internet speed provided by Starlink reaches up to 200 Mbps.
The plan is to connect 2,000 Kazakhstani schools in rural areas to the internet using SpaceX technology, according to a preliminary agreement with Starlink.
The monthly payment for a Starlink connection is expected to be around $200, according to Bagdat Musin, the Minister of Digital Development, Innovation, and Aerospace Industry. This cost is comparable to the current expenses from the budget to connect schools in remote areas to satellite internet.
There are, however, certain legislative obstacles that Starlink needs to overcome in order to expand its presence in the Kazakhstani market. The implementation of Starlink in Kazakhstan requires government support and changes in national legislation.
The current Communication Law in Kazakhstan includes technical parameters that Starlink cannot meet due to the specific nature of its technology. For example, the law requires communication management facilities to be located within the country, while Starlink’s facilities are based on cloud technologies.
In 2023, new regulations will allow the development of non-geostationary satellite communication systems in Kazakhstan, including Starlink. Previously, the activities of such systems were not regulated by national legislation, creating obstacles for their launch and operation.
In addition to Starlink, the meeting also discussed the challenges of implementing 5G technology in Kazakhstan. The Minister of Digital Development, Innovation, and Aerospace Industry highlighted the need to eliminate regulatory barriers that affect the timeline for the installation of communication stations.
Over 800 5G base stations have already been installed in Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Shymkent, and regional centers. The goal is to