SpaceX’s internet service provider Starlink is attempting to be everything, everywhere, all at once. Despite Starlink’s slowing speeds in recent months as its popularity increases, two major new initiatives were announced this week: service in Iran and in U.S. school buses.
This move comes after the Iran government cut off internet access amid protests that erupted after the death of Mahsa Amini. Amini was a 22-year-old woman detained by Iran’s “morality” police and died in custody days later. The resulting protests led to a government shutdown of the internet, Whatsapp, and Instagram.
Additionally, Starlink is set to provide internet access to school buses stateside. In May, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Jessica Rosenworcel proposed using funding for schools and libraries to equip buses with WiFi, according to the New York Post.
In a letter sent to the FCC this week, SpaceX implored the commission to make this move and make Starlink equipment accessible on school buses. The purpose is to help bridge the country’s digital divide, or provide internet access to the millions of Americans (including children) who don’t have internet access at home.
What SpaceX hasn’t clarified, however, is how it will keep up internet speeds with this proposed spike in use, given that they’ve already slowed this year. Mashable has reached out to SpaceX for comment.