Satellite Constellations and National Communities

The launch of low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite constellations providing broadband internet direct to subscribers has been met with varied responses by national regulatory authorities. On one hand, LEO satellite constellations may be revolutionising the telecommunications industry, particularly for high seas communication, but there has been noticeable hesitancy towards—or outright rejection of—the first available constellation by authorities in many national spaces.

In this presentation, I review a research project in collaboration with Dr Irfan Wahyudi at Universitas Airlangga in Surabaya, Indonesia, in which we are investigating discourses and practices around the adoption of Starlink services in Australia and Indonesia. For this study, we consider the long history of electronic communications and public memories around communications infrastructure. As we grapple with the emerging implications of our research, I will glance back to the final lecture of Benedict Anderson at Universitas Indonesia to consider imaginations about electronic communications and political communities.

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Posted by IAFOR