Elon Musk chooses Kerry for his antennae to the stars 

Elon Musk chooses Kerry for his antennae to the stars 

Sources have confirmed Musk's small antennae are likely to operate from the remote Black Valley – 20 miles from Killarney. File picture: Hannibal Hanschke/Pool Photo via AP

Tech billionaire Elon Musk has targeted a remote rural location in Kerry to locate antennae to the stars.

The pilot project, which is shrouded in secrecy, is likely to roll out within weeks in a valley in the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks near Killarney.

Musk, founder of SpaceX and electric carmaker Tesla, is deploying showers of satellites into space to provide cheap and fast broadband connections for remote rural locations.

There are strict non-disclosure agreements surrounding the approach by Musk's SpaceX Starlink to Kerry County Council in December.

However, sources have confirmed his small antennae are likely to operate from the remote Black Valley – 20 miles from Killarney. Ironically, that was one of the last places in Ireland to get telephone connection and is now reliant on patchy mobile phone connection.

The new pilot link for the valley could, at least initially, involve just a single household, it is understood.

Musk's corporation approached the Department of Rural and Community Development late last year to facilitate direct negotiations between Starlink and Kerry County Council.

Almost a third (26,905) of all Kerry premises have no access to high-speed broadband, a meeting of Kerry County Council was told last week by Donal Hanrahan, chief commercial officer with the National Broadband Plan, as he outlined its five-seven year strategy. 

Even areas close to major towns have hit-and-miss connection and many houses are paying for two or more providers for internet and mobile signals.

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