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Elon Musk’s plan to fix Aussie internet

Elon Musk wants to improve Australia's internet with Starlink. Image: AP

Tech entrepreneur and SpaceX founder Elon Musk is closer than ever to launching Starlink, which would effectively lay a wireless satellite internet network across Australia. 

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) on Thursday announced SpaceX was approved for inclusion in the country’s Foreign Space Objects Determination, a major step for SpaceX’s Starlink. 

The list inclusion means the foreign-owned network can operate in Australia. 

What’s Starlink? 

SpaceX has described Starlink as the “world’s most advanced broadband internet system”. 

It’s establishment in Australia would mean fibre-speed internet would be available in rural Australia, previously difficult to connect to high-speed internet. 

SpaceX announced Starlink in 2015, with Musk at the time saying it would be “in the long term, like rebuilding the internet in space”. 

Starlink would work by having users receive internet through plug-in terminals which automatically connect to thousands of mass-produced satellites pushing internet access around the globe. 

Musk has described the terminals as appearing “like a thin, flat, round UFO on a stick”.

SpaceX has already deployed 242 satellites. 

Starlink IPO

SpaceX’s chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell on Friday AEST told investors that Starlink could spin off into its own company and taken public. 

“Right now, we are a private company, but Starlink is the right kind of business that we can go ahead and take public,” he said, as reported by Bloomberg.

“That particular piece is an element of the business that we are likely to spin out and go public.”

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