Wise County students to use new satellite service for high speed internet

Published: Dec. 18, 2020 at 9:07 PM EST
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WISE, Va. (WDBJ) - Students in Wise County will be among the first in Virginia to receive high-speed internet through a new satellite service from the company SpaceX.

A project that will reach 45 families next month could eventually connect students in many rural communities.

SpaceX has already launched hundreds of satellites into low earth orbit, and hundreds more are on the way.

The Starlink constellation should deliver high-quality, high-speed internet to many who currently have limited or no service.

Scott Kiser is the Director of Technology for Wise County Public Schools, the first school district in Virginia to use the space-based service.

“We have students who can’t wait five years, ten years for the infrastructure to be built out to bring internet to their homes,” Kiser told WDBJ7 this week. “We’re living in a time where we need it now.”

For Clerk of Court Jack Kennedy, whose lifelong interest in space sparked the county’s interest in the Starlink service, the potential reaches far beyond the borders of his home county.

“I have high hopes of bringing broadband throughout the central Appalachian region, particularly to school children who would have no other means of accessing dark fiber to their homes,” Kennedy said.

The equipment arrives in mid-January, with the service starting in early February.

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