Starlink unlikely to help the current situation in Iran

September 2022: Another situation arises where a large population of people have restricted or cut off internet access. Earlier this year, when Ukrainians were in dire need of internet access, Elon Musk’s Starlink stepped in and impactfully improved the situation. It seems unlikely the same can be said about the current situation in Iran. Regardless of Musk’s public announcement of “Activating Starlink …” over Iran, many are skeptical that Starlink will make an impact, at least in the short run. The RNL’s Dr. Todd Humphreys is quoted saying that Starlink is not a practical solution here due to the lack of Starlink user terminals in the country, and the unlikeliness of someone creating a DIY user terminal due to the complexity and structure of the signal. Beyond just that, there are many regulatory hurdles as well as the fact that the user terminals transmit back the the satellites, and this any users could be located by the Iranian government. Additionally, the lack of ground stations within Iran itself would introduce a reduced speed. The full story is covered here by The Intercept.