Billionaire Elon Musk looks set to add Ireland's National Space Centre in Cork to his Starlink project to provide satellite internet access around the world.
Officials at the Space Centre in Elfordstown in East Cork have declined to comment on speculation linking the space headquarters to Musk's Starlink project, but the Irish Examiner reports that giant golf balls are now visible at the Midleton complex - a telltale sign of Musk's Starlink project.
Musk plans to bring internet access to hard-to-reach areas with his Starlink project and the internet service says that its satellites are over 60 times closer to earth than traditional satellites and says that it is consequently able to support services that are not normally possible with traditional satellite internet.
Starlink additionally says that its satellites support lower latency - the ability to send data from one point to the next. The internet service says that its satellites will enhance video calls and online gaming among other things.
Starlink is now delivering its initial beta service in the United States and around the world and plans to continue its global expansion throughout 2021, the company said on its website.
The internet service typically launches 60 satellites at a time and plans to have launched 1,500 satellites by the end of 2021.
Earlier this week, officials from the Kerry County Council met with Starlink representatives to agree a deal that saw the Black Valley area in County Kerry become part of the Starlink project. The area generally has poor reception and lags behind the rest of the country in terms of technological advances.
Starlink users in the United States currently pay $499 to buy Starlink ground equipment and also pay a $99 monthly fee. The Irish Examiner reports that similar costs will exist in Ireland once the internet service becomes operational.