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Ukraine | Elon Musk says he can no longer fund the Starlink internet network



(New York) The SpaceX company no longer has the means to continue to finance the Starlink internet network in Ukraine, warned its boss Elon Musk on Friday, an appeal to the American government to take over.

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, SpaceX has delivered thousands of terminals there which provide an Internet connection through a constellation of satellites forming the Starlink network.

Some 25,000 terminals have been deployed in the country to date, according to Elon Musk.

According to the chief executive of SpaceX, the operation has already cost the company $80 million and the bill is expected to reach $100 million by the end of the year.

On Friday, the fiery entrepreneur warned that the space company “(could) not continue to fund the existing system indefinitely and send thousands of additional terminals […]. This is not reasonnable. »

According to CNN, SpaceX sent a letter to the Pentagon last month indicating that it could no longer afford the costs of the service in Ukraine.

The company was asking, according to CNN, the US Department of Defense to take over the financing of the use of Starlink by the Ukrainian government and its army, the cost of which was estimated at $400 million for the next 12 months.

The Starlink network has helped maintain internet coverage in areas of Ukraine hit by the Russian military. As of June, around 15% of Ukraine’s existing internet infrastructure had been destroyed or damaged, authorities said.

Ukrainian telecommunications operators have also been targeted by numerous cyberattacks.

Elon Musk assures that with the exception of a “small percentage”, all the costs of deploying and maintaining Starlink terminals in Ukraine have been borne by SpaceX.

But the US Agency for International Development (USAID) said in April that it had purchased 1,330 terminals from SpaceX to deliver to Ukraine.

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