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21 Okt. 2022


Starlink: why the Internet from Elon Musk is crucial for Ukraine



Starlink: why the Internet from Elon Musk is crucial for Ukraine

Official merch from Visit Ukraine: wear "Ukrainian", support the country
Official merch from Visit Ukraine: wear "Ukrainian", support the country

Recently, Elon Musk said that he is ready to continue financing the work of Starlink satellite Internet in Ukraine. Although before that, the company of the businessman SpaceX appealed to the US Ministry of Defense with a request to take over the payment of satellite Internet communication services in Ukraine, which is provided by Starlink terminals.

As you know, Musk gave Starlink stations to Ukraine at the beginning of the full-scale war, then they helped Ukrainians a lot, including the military. Later, people already bought part of the stations for money.

How does Starlink work?

The Starlink system can provide access to high-speed Internet in remote locations without the need to lay cables or build a lot of additional infrastructure. The system's satellites are in low Earth orbit, so the signal delay is almost imperceptible. It is up to 20 milliseconds, unlike the closest competitors, whose signal can be delayed for seconds.

In order for the Internet to work, gateway stations are installed on the ground. The gateway connects to the satellite, which, in turn, transmits its signal to the terminal dish. To connect to the network, you need a terminal that looks like a small satellite dish, a tripod and a router.

Why does Ukraine need Starlink?

The Minister of Digital Transformation of the country, Mykhailo Fedorov, emphasized that Starlink played an important role in the rapid restoration of communication in critical places and de-occupied territories. For example, when a mobile communication system or Internet cables are damaged or destroyed as a result of missile attacks.

Starlink is also used by the Ukrainian military on the battlefield.

Satellite Internet signals cannot be jammed like regular radio signals, and the Satellite Internet Kit only takes 15 minutes to set up. So the Armed Forces can use Starlink for stable and operational communication between the headquarters and the military at the front.

Why did Elon Musk threaten to stop Starlink in Ukraine?

In early October, the businessman shared on his Twitter proposals for peace in Ukraine and thoughts on how the war could end. Musk proposed to hold a new referendum on the territories occupied by Russia under the auspices of the UN, give Crimea to Russia and ensure its water supply. He offered Ukraine to have a neutral status.

Musk justified such actions by the fact that the population of the Russian Federation is approximately three times larger than the population of Ukraine. Therefore, in his opinion, the victory of the Ukrainians in this war is "unlikely".

The reaction of Mask's followers in the social network did not make them wait. The businessman was answered by high-ranking politicians, including the president of Ukraine, experts, cultural figures and ordinary citizens.

Instead, Musk replied that since the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation into Ukraine, he had transferred $80 million worth of Starlink to the Ukrainians, and that he refused to pay any further. He offered the US government to continue the payment.

However, the billionaire later changed his mind and declared that he would continue to finance Starlink communication satellites in Ukraine.

"To hell with it... while Starlink is still losing money and other companies are getting billions of taxpayer dollars, we'll just keep funding the Ukrainian government for free", - he tweeted.