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Starlink: Satellite internet disrupted in Ukraine

The aerospace company SpaceX has been helping out the Ukrainian military with its Starlink satellite internet since the start of the Ukraine war. This was supposed to provide reliable and stable communication, but now seems to have some problems. A total of 1,300 receiver terminals have been disabled, which could become a major problem for the military in Ukraine.

Shutdown of Starlink due to unpaid bills?

A major advantage of Starlink is that it can provide Internet connectivity, which is so important today, even in structurally weak regions ravaged by wars or natural disasters. Elon Musk’s satellite Internet not only proved this when it supported the Ahr Valley last year after the flood of the century hit there. Musk also pledged support to Ukraine shortly after war broke out. No sooner said than done. So the Ukrainian military was able to rely on the communication channel via satellites. It now weighs all the more heavily that there are probably to be some problems with the Internet via satellite. According to a report from CNN, a total of 1,300 receivers in Ukraine are said to have gone offline.

However, there seem to be no technical but rather monetary problems behind this. After all, CNN reports with reference to internal sources that Ukraine’s military is probably slowly but surely running into payment difficulties. It is said that the supply of just one receiver has already cost 2,500 US dollars per month. If you extrapolate this to the 1,300 receivers, an impressive 20 million US dollars have been collected up to and including September. This may be the reason why SpaceX “turned off the tap” on October 24, 2022, and ended the supply of receivers via satellite. This could now have severe consequences for Ukraine.

Was the problem foreseeable?

Of course, Ukraine saw the problem coming with the defaulting payments. That’s probably why the country’s Defense Ministry turned to the British in early October 2022. Thus one had asked to take over for the time being the costs, which result monthly. This probably amounts to 3.25 million US dollars per month. In the meantime, the problem even seemed to be solved. Finally, Elon Musk threw in the room to take care of the financing. Better said, the controversial tech billionaire wanted to take over the costs himself via his company SpaceX. However, he rowed back from this again. To prevent ailing communications from becoming Ukraine’s Achilles’ heel, the U.S. Department of Defense has now also spoken out. According to the Pentagon, negotiations are currently underway and the outstanding bills will be settled.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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The aerospace company SpaceX has been helping out the Ukrainian military with its Starlink satellite internet since the start of the Ukraine war. This was supposed to provide reliable and stable communication, but now seems to have some problems. A total of 1,300 receiver terminals have been disabled, which could become a major problem for … (Weiterlesen...)

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