Elon Musk brought another 10,000 satellite internet devices to Ukraine
“SpaceX and Musk responded quickly and said they would help us,” Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Mikhail Fedorov told me. Bloomberg. “When we had a major breakdown, I texted him straight away and Musk responded immediately. He understands the situation.”
Mr. Fedorov said that the financial question for the maintenance of the satellite Internet terminal was solved. In addition to supporting Musk, several European countries are also promoting this cost-sharing policy. “But next spring Ukraine will have to raise more money for these services.”
The 10,000 new Starlink terminals will add to the approximately 22,000 active products that Ukraine has already received and used to “stabilize communications in critical situations.” “At the moment there is no effective replacement for satellite Internet,” said Fedorov.
Beginning in March, the American billionaire activated his satellite broadband service, Starlink, helping the US military stay connected on the battlefield when Ukrainian cellphones and internet went down during the conflict.
In early October, the head of SpaceX sent a letter to the Pentagon warning that it could no longer fund the service because the cost could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Days later, however, he changed his mind when he tweeted, “Despite the loss of Starlink and other companies receiving billions of dollars from the budget, we will continue to fund Ukraine for free.”
The Starlink communications system, which consists of 3,000 small satellites in low-Earth orbit, was developed by SpaceX. The group says that using satellite internet has cost Ukraine more than $120 million in the last three months of this year and nearly $400 million in the next 12 months.