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Will SpaceX’s Starlink Internet Deal With Zambia Help Podcasters?


SpaceX plans to launch Starlink operations in Zambia. This means that the quest to get rid of poor internet issues and the high cost of data in the Sub- Saharan region is underway. Zambia will soon have unlimited, fast internet. However, will SpaceX’s Starlink Internet help podcasters?

In September 2022, the Zambian President, Hakainde Hichilema, met with Starlink’s representatives in New York. During their meeting, President Hichilema solicited SpaceX’s Starlink services to launch in Zambia. This is part of the Zambian government’s goal to embrace the “internet revolution.” If this deal pulls through, Zambia will join Nigeria and Mozambique as the first African countries to approve Starlink’s Internet services in Africa. Just like Zambia, these two countries’ goal is to ensure there is high-speed internet connectivity, especially in rural areas. 

According to the President, Zambia will have universal Internet in about six months. The government and stakeholders are already “working around the clock to ensure that facilities such as technology are put to greater use so that jobs and business opportunities can be realized, and this was what characterized our conversation with Starlink head Chad Gibbs.”

Zambians have positively received this news, including Special Assistant and Advisor to the President on Economic, Investment, and Development affairs,  Jito Kayumba, who took to Twitter and expressed his happiness about the news. Meanwhile, Elon Musk, SpaceX Founder and CEO, confirmed the development by replying to the tweet, saying: “We are looking forward to providing Starlink services to the people of Zambia.”

SpaceX’s Starlink internet is a broadband satellite internet provider. This Internet is limited to urban locations but works well in rural or remote locations that don’t have landline internet options like cable and DSL. Its unlimited satellite internet data and fast broadband speeds make it accessible in rural communities.

Compared to Viasat and HughesNet, Starlink offers more data and faster internet speeds of 50–500 Mbps, priced at $110–$500 a month. This is 4 to 41.7 times higher than Zambia’s internet speed of 12.08 Mbps. This all depends on the service packages of one’s choice, which include residential, RV, and business satellite internet packages.

Starlink Internet is highly recommendable because of its lower latency. This makes recording podcasts remotely easier. For instance, Starlink’s internet can enable remote call recorder software and apps to run remote recordings with co-hosts and guests at a faster speed.

Moreover, the internet’s lower latency can also speed up the process of editing podcasts with cloud-based software. This is because of its ability to handle an extreme volume of data messages with nominal delay. Furthermore, the self-installation process is easy and doesn’t need an IT professional to install it. With all these advantages, Starlink internet will likely help capable podcasters thrive.

A Few Starlink Warnings

Starlink has some limitations of availability due to the increasing number of users. Nonetheless,  SpaceX regularly launches more satellites. This means its availability is expanding. However, compared to Viasat and HughesNet, Starlink’s problems with coverage are still common.

Meanwhile, the internet facility calls for alarm for various reasons. For instance,  astronomers worry that Starlink’s orbiting objects will interfere with their observations of the Universe. Spaceflight experts are also concerned about its contribution to collision hazards in the Earth’s orbit. Additionally, some scientists fear the amount of metal burning in Earth’s atmosphere as old satellites deorbit can cause unpredictable alterations to Earth’s climate.

a podcaster on a bike, when podcasters have freedom and flexibility, their shows are more interesting.

How Will SpaceX’s Internet Help Podcasters?

SpaceX’s internet service can help podcasters in various ways. These include increasing the number of podcast shows and episodes, streams, and downloads. This, in turn, will help reduce the cost of podcasts.

Podcasters in Africa Can Now Produce as Many Podcasts as They Want

When Zambia joins Mozambique and Nigeria, Africa will have three countries with unlimited access to data. Hence, podcasters in and outside these countries will be able to produce and share as many podcasts as they want. They also don’t have to worry about the cost of data. This is because preparing and sharing the podcasts to subscribers’ computers using RSS feeds will be simplified. 

Furthermore, data cost-driven delays in creating and sharing podcasts will be a thing of the past.  Podcasters will be able to upload their files to any media host at a fast speed. Thus, users will listen to their favorite podcasts on time via smartphones or multimedia players. Additionally,  podcasters can go the extra mile to host or embed their podcasts on their websites. This will make the podcasts streamable or downloadable on the website.

Podcasters Can Lower the Prices of Downloading Podcasts

Generally, the more podcast downloads there are, the more revenue a podcaster will earn. Hence, Starlink’s unlimited and fast internet will automatically increase the number of podcast downloads by listeners subscribed to the internet service. To this end, there is a chance of increased earnings for podcasters around the world. Thus, there won’t be any need to share content at a higher fee.

Unlimited Podcast Listenership

Lastly and most importantly, an increase in podcast production stands to increase the rate of podcast listenership in Africa. This is the same for streams and downloads. The direct outcome of increased listenership will be enhanced growth of the podcasting industry. 

Unlimited and fast data services operate in Nigeria, Mozambique, and soon in Zambia. Podcasters in Africa and around the world should look forward to leveraging the opportunity that Starlink offers. These opportunities will benefit the audience and the podcasting industry in general.

3 podcast listeners gathered around headphones with a smartphone in the background with audiogram

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