starlink satellite,
A Starlink satellite dish used to provide internet services to rural communities. Photo credit: Starlink

CAP-HAITIEN — Elon Musk’s SpaceX has asked Haiti for authorization to provide its high-speed satellite internet services in the country, according to a Jul. 29 note from Haiti’s National Council of Telecommunications (CONATEL).

SpaceX, the American spacecraft engineering company founded by Musk, asked for authorization to provide Starlink and Swarm internet services specifically. Starlink is a satellite internet constellation service that provides high-speed internet in isolated areas. Swarm is a satellite Internet-of-Things (IoT) connectivity provider SpaceX acquired in 2020.

Residents have long complained about Haiti’s slow internet. As of 2019, Haiti had an average download speed of 2.94 Megabits per second (Mbps), according to Statista, compared to Starlink’s 2022 average speed of 90.55 Mbps, according to Speedtest

Some Haitians rejoiced at the possibility of having high-speed internet around the country.

“That would be good,” said Gregory Pinchinat, a business intelligence analyst based in Port-au-Prince. “The service we get is relatively mediocre and minimal.”

Haiti has not said whether it answered SpaceX’s request. CONATEL did not answer The Haitian Times’ email request for an interview before this report.

However, CONATEL has approved a SpaceX initiative to conduct internet pilot tests in 20 Civil Protection Directory locations for four months and five other locations for two years. The locations are Henri Christophe Campus University of Limonade (CHCL), Michele Tardieu Library located in Pétion-Ville, Port-au-Prince, Hotel Karibe – Environment of Support, Saint Francois Xavier of Ouanaminthe School and the Haitian Association for the Development of Information and Communication Technologies (AHTIC), according to the note.

Starlink provides satellite internet to 36 countries. On Jul. 28, Haiti’s neighbor, the Dominican Republic, became the first country in the Caribbean to have Starlink internet services.

SpaceX tweeted: “Starlink is now available in the Dominican Republic! Excited to expand access to high-speed broadband internet in the Caribbean.”

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Onz Chery is a Haiti correspondent for The Haitian Times. Chery started his journalism career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He later wrote for First Touch, local soccer leagues in New York and Elite Sports New York before joining The Haitian Times in 2019.

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  1. Wish I could get a reading from SpaceX/Starlink about my home in Jamaica. It is NOT on the coast; & Starlink’s coverage map implies- without giving a rationale- that they only are dealing with the immediate coastal region (i.e., appearing to go less than a km inland??) all around the island- which, from a satellite coverage/physics point of view, doesn’t make any sense. Would really like to understand why my home that’s going up a few km inland from the north shore wouldn’t be on the acceptable list; but no one responds.

    1. Beautiful! Haiti needs something like that. Investors should think about this island. I wish someone will provide electric 24/24. Because, without electricity,the country will not go forward.

  2. That would be great for Haiti, unfortunately we have no government to negotiate for us.

  3. Surely EDH will make the grid stable and provide 24×7 power at a reasonable cost any day now… 😀

    Starlink draws little enough power that larger businesses and organizations (hospitals, hotels, etc.) could probably set up a solar system with Starlink, router, PoE switch, and a few wireless APs to give good 24×7 service without requiring a connection to EDH at all. I suppose the individual households in Haiti who are able to afford high speed internet service could probably afford the solar setup also.

  4. Unfortunately government is not thinking about the public but instead its thinking about their own pockets. They should have accepted the Starlink request to make communications easier and cheaper in the country but the big operators were not happy. So they instead decided to delay it. And get some freebies while at it.

  5. I don’t see why we need the permission of the conatel neither the gouvernement since Haiti is in the same foot print of Dominican Republic that’s mean we cover by the same satellites the only thing we have to do is to buy the system with a portability fee

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