Aerial view of Kalumburu in Western Australia's Kimberley region.
Kalumburu in Western Australia's Kimberley region. (Credit: Mapping the Digital Gap)

Starlink internet access arrives in the Kimberley, but it may be too costly for some.

Author Leah Hawkins
Date 15 November 2022

Starlink, a satellite internet system owned by SpaceX, has now added the Kimberley and other parts of northern Australia to its main coverage map.

It comes at a time when 11 per cent of Australia are “highly excluded” from digital and online services, according to the Australian Digital Inclusion Index.

In remote First Nations communities, unreliable and slow connection speeds limit access to government services, news and information, and other resources.

Speaking to ABC Kimberley reporter Taylor Thompson-Fuller, ADM+S Research Fellow Dr Daniel Featherstone said the service could be a game-changer for people in remote areas of the Kimberley, but it still had its drawbacks.

“Starlink is fantastic in that it’s really fast compared with the services that are available now including 4G, or mobile coverage and Sky Muster,” said Daniel.

“[But] it’s much more expensive. It costs about $139 per month, compared with some of the Sky Muster services, which are more in the $60 to $80 range.”

Dr Daniel Featherstone is lead investigator of the Mapping the Digital Gap research project – a collaborative project between the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S) and Telstra which is measuring digital inclusion and media in remote First Nations communities from 2021-24.


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