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Elon Musk lauds Sanjay Bhargava, the director of Starlink India, and says he deserves credit for PayPal’s success

Starlink is a constellation of internet-bearing mini-satellites in low Earth orbit.

Elon Musk has lauded Sanjay Bhargava, the director of Starlink India, for his ambitious effort to bring high-speed Internet to rural areas, adding he has “great respect” for him. Musk congratulated Bhargava for PayPal’s success and said he is now assisting SpaceX in serving India’s rural villages. Bhargava previously worked with Musk on the electronic payment startup before taking over SpaceX’s satellite broadband program in India last month. Starlink, a constellation of satellites operated by SpaceX in low Earth orbit, beams internet to the ground. The company intends to introduce its services in India within the next several months.

Musk praised Bhargava in reaction to a story about SpaceX’s ambitions to bring Starlink Internet to rural India. “Sanjay deserves a lot of credit for the success of X/PayPal. Now assisting SpaceX in serving India’s rural areas. “Much respect,” Musk wrote on Twitter.
In a video presentation, Bhargava and his wife Anita Kapur Bhargava discussed SpaceX’s plans to bring Starlink broadband service to rural India next year. It is now awaiting regulatory approval. SpaceX wants to give away 100 Starlink hardware kits for free, 20 to Delhi schools, and 80 to a rural community near Delhi.

The company’s representatives will next collaborate with the NITI Aayog to choose 12 rural districts, three from each of the four regions (North, South, East, and West), where Internet services will be provided. The company expects to run at least 200,000 Starlink devices by the end of 2022, with 160,000 (80 percent) of those in rural areas. Anita Bhargava stated that she is assisting Starlink on a pro gratis basis.

Under the regions where it is now available, Starlink is still in beta testing. It promises to have a latency of 20–40 milliseconds and speeds ranging from 50 to 150 megabits per second. Because the vast majority of rural India lacks Internet connection, India could prove to be a lucrative broadband market for SpaceX.

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