The initial equipment to connect the Black Valley in Kerry to the internet is to be installed within days. 

The internet service is to be provided via the Starlink satellite which is funded by technology billionaire Elon Musk. 

The pilot project in the remote valley is being conducted by the Department of Rural and Community Development, under license by the Commission for Communications Regulation.

The Starlink company has been liaising directly with Kerry County Council since late 2020 to trial the technology.

The size of a small satellite dish, the initial "kit", which includes a long cable and an indoor box "the size of a lump of turf", will need a sheltered location and the winds of the past days would not have suited it, according to the council's Digital officer, Brian Looney.

Community groups in the valley have been co-operating with the initiative and a location where the device could serve a number of single houses would be selected this week, Mr Looney confirmed.

"The only requirement is to see the sky," he said of the location for the dish. 

The Satellite pilot scheme is among a number of solutions being looked at to solve the communications problems of the valley and while it would speed up internet connections, companies such as Eir are also trying to resolve the valley's long-term landline and mobile phone problems, Brian Looney said.

Mayor of Kerry, Kenmare area councillor Patrick O'Connor-Scarteen has welcomed the approach. Given the valley was the last area to get telephone or electricity services he did not want it to be left behind again.

"There was a time when running water was the essential issue. Now it is access to the internet which is necessary now for most Government services," Mr O'Connor-Scarteen said.

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

However, the impact of the low-flying satellites on Kerry's international dark sky reserve, "the only gold reserve in the Northern Hemisphere", has been raised in the Dáil by the Fine Gael TD, Eoghan Murphy. 

The status was awarded to south Kerry in 2014 because of the pristine view of the constellations in the Kells to Skelligs area. 

Low light bulbs are used in the street lights in Cahersiveen, with the amount of light emanating from a single house assessed in planning applications by the council in south Kerry, to prevent any impact on the night sky. 

Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan told Deputy Murphy that, "there is currently no legislation in Ireland dealing specifically with environmental light pollution". 

The decision to proceed with the pilot project was a matter for Kerry County Council and his department had no role in the matter, Minister Ryan said.