Elon Musk pledges to keep Starlink internet running in Ukraine ‘for free’ | Science & Tech News

Elon Musk has indicated that his company SpaceX will continue to fund Starlink internet service in Ukraine, a day after saying he could not fund the project.

The world’s richest man has signaled the need for “good deeds” as he spins, after earlier saying he could no longer continue to operate the satellite provider in the war-torn nation.

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He wrote on Twitter: “Hell… even though Starlink is still losing money and other companies are getting billions of dollars from taxpayers, we will continue to fund the Ukrainian government for free.”

musk He seemed eager to win back some goodwill from Kyiv, after he caused a stir earlier this month by putting up a “peace plan” which included new elections in the illegally annexed areas Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Provided by Starlink for Ukraine After the February invasion WelcomeAnd it proved to be the key to the successes on the battlefield that I enjoyed Volodymyr Zelenskyforces.

Ukrainian envoy Oksana Markarova said Starlink was “the only link we have” in parts of the country, and stressed it was “very important” to continue to operate.

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What is starlink?

Starlink is a satellite internet company, which prides itself on its ability to deliver ultra-fast broadband to the world’s most challenging environments – from rural areas notorious for patchy network coverage, to – in the case of Ukraine – an active war zone.

Dr. Victor Duychenov, a researcher in satellite communications at the Bradford-Rinduchentala Center for Artificial Intelligence in Space, succinctly describes it as “broadband in space.”

“It’s like having all the base stations that usually provide mobile coverage in the air, in space, and flying around the Earth,” he told Sky News.

Powered by Musk’s subsidiary SpaceX, Starlink is powered by thousands of satellites in low Earth orbit, while receivers on the ground are used to make a connection and provide internet service.

“The equipment is portable, you can put it in your car or truck, go anywhere and still have an internet connection. It’s small, mobile and has a high data rate,” Dr. Duyshenov said.

The idea is that more satellites mean less latency service than other broadband companies, which traditionally use single satellites orbiting the planet. However , led to complaints of light pollution Excessive space debris.

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In the UK the admission price is a £460 hardware package and a monthly bill of £75 – a significant premium compared to providers you may be used to.

Download speeds of up to 106Mbps have been reported by the Thinkbroadband website, which will be fast enough to get the latest version of FIFA on your PlayStation in just over eight minutes.

How was Starlink used in Ukraine?

Ukraine of course has bigger concerns than downloading video games or streaming movies on Netflix.

Russia’s targeting of the country’s infrastructure has included telecommunications, and the delivery of Starlink dishes in February provided a lifeline for civilians and soldiers alike.

The role of Starlink broadband in keeping the world informed of the ongoing Russian blockade of Mariupol Reported by the New York Times, it also helped restore communications in places liberated by Ukrainian forces.

Dr Duchynov said the technology would likely prove to be “incredibly valuable” for forces fighting in areas with poor mobile phone coverage or damaged infrastructure.

It can be used for “battlefield surveillance images, video feeds from drones, and extremely fast and responsive communication with commanding officers.”

“Because Starlink orbits so close to Earth, the time it takes for the signal to travel from your user station to the satellite, and back to the person you’re talking to is very short,” he said.

“As long as you have clear skies above you, you can connect to Starlink and from there to the wider Internet. And as you move equipment with you, you are much more resilient to any disruptions.”

However, Starlink has not proven a perfect solution. Earlier in October, the Financial Times reported “catastrophic” temporary outages in Kherson and Zaporizhia as Ukrainian forces advance.

And in a move unusual for a regular business but on the Musk brand, the initial Starlink provision was handled through direct communication with Ukraine’s digital minister on Twitter.

Musk has since complained that the US government has not offered financial support to continue providing Starlink.

Starlink became a registered Internet provider in Ukraine in April, and there are now more than 23,000 systems in operation.

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