1,300 Starlink terminals in Ukraine shut down because of funding problems - CNN

By: Elena Shcherban | 05.11.2022, 18:16
1,300 Starlink terminals in Ukraine shut down because of funding problems - CNN

CNN, citing two sources familiar with the situation, writes that last week there were outages at 1,300 Starlink satellite terminals in Ukraine.


Outages began to be recorded from October 24. Most likely, the reason was due to problems with financing.

The outage affected a block of 1,300 terminals, which Ukraine purchased in March from the British company and used for combat operations. The publication writes that SpaceX was charging $2,500 a month to connect each of the 1,300 units, bringing the total cost to nearly $20 million by September, said a person briefed on the matter. Eventually, they could no longer afford to pay.

Before the terminals completely shut down, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry asked its British counterparts in early October to pay a monthly bill of $3.25 million. According to the source, a batch of terminals was also replaced because there were fears that service might be cut off. The British official said that after discussions among the ministries, "it was decided that military capabilities had a higher priority."

We support a number of terminals that have a direct tactical utility for Ukraine’s military in repelling Russia’s invasion. We consider and prioritize all new requests in terms of the impact contributions would have in supporting Ukraine to defend its people against Putin’s deplorable invasion.

As a reminder, SpaceX can no longer pay for Starlink in Ukraine and is asking the Pentagon for funding - the cost of services in 2023 will be $380 million in September asking it to take over most of the funding for the use of the terminals. The company claimed that it had spent nearly $100 million to fund Starlink in Ukraine and that it could no longer continue to do so. However, Elon Musk soon said that he would continue the funding. Despite this, according to a high-ranking U.S. Defense Department official, negotiations between SpaceX and the ministry continue.

A September letter from SpaceX to the Pentagon states that there are nearly 20,000 Starlink terminals in Ukraine. At the time, by SpaceX's own admission, most of them were bought in whole or in part with external financing, including from the U.S., Polish and British governments. The letter claimed that these sources also paid about 30 percent of the monthly connection bill.

Source: CNN

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