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Google Cloud and Starlink team up to deliver global connectivity

Google Cloud has struck a partnership with SpaceX’s Starlink, the company’s satellite internet service, in a two-way attempt for Starlink to provide its customers with Google Cloud access while enabling Google to use the high-speed internet for its enterprise Cloud users.

On Thursday, the companies announced that SpaceX would install Starlink terminals at Google Cloud data centres worldwide to leverage their platform. These combined Starlink-Google Cloud services will be available by the end of 2021, including secure data deliveries in even the most remote areas in the world.

Google had already invested about $900 million into Starlink back in 2015 in an attempt to cover a bunch of tech, including satellite manufacturing. About 1550 of Starlinks 1625 launched satellites are already in orbit. The customer base has also started seeing growth, with over 10,000 customers across the US, Canada and Europe and at least 5,00,000 deposits of $100 by potential customers.

“We are delighted to partner with SpaceX to ensure that organizations with distributed footprints have seamless, secure, and fast access to the critical applications and services they need to keep their teams up and running,” said Urs Hölzle, Senior VP, Infrastructure at Google Cloud.

The deal also helps Google Cloud against their rivalry with Amazon’s AWS. However, Amazon’s own satellite service, Kuiper, is due to launch more than 3,000 satellites in orbit to provide satellite internet, much like Starlink.

SpaceX’s President and COO, Gwynne Shotwell, said, “Combining Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency broadband with Google’s infrastructure and capabilities provides global organizations with the secure and fast connection that modern organizations expect.”

The first of these terminals will be set up at Google’s New Albany, Ohio data centre, with plans for more to be revealed in the coming months, a Google spokesperson told The Verge.

Most public sector agencies and businesses with a presence in less covered areas or those operating in rural or remote connections would benefit the most from this service. These businesses often require access to cloud services such as AI/ML or analytics. Internet connectivity from Starlink and Google’s Cloud functionality can help these organisations avoid many challenges they currently face. 

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