The Ukrainian government is looking for Starlink alternatives
According to Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, the Ukrainian government is exploring alternatives to Starlink, the satellite internet division of Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Last month, Musk said his space company could no longer pay the Ukrainian project “indefinitely,” casting doubt on his continued backing for Starlink. Since then, he has declared that he will carry on.
Fedorov stated that he hasn’t observed any problems with Musk continuing to finance Starlink in Ukraine during a press briefing on Thursday at the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon, Portugal. He claimed that everything was now running smoothly.
Fedorov, who is also Ukraine’s minister of information technology, stated that the government is looking for new satellite communication devices to bolster Ukraine’s IT infrastructure, which has been hampered by Russia’s invasion. As Russia launched an assault on the nation’s electricity infrastructure, Fedorov claimed to have lately heard tales of a blackout in Ukraine.
Other satellite communication technologies are being used, according to Fedorov. We collaborate with more than just SpaceX, as well. To find new relationships and interact with new partners is one of the reasons I attended Web Summit, he continued.
The Finnish company ICEYE, which has been assisting the nation with its remote satellite imaging capabilities, is one of the alternative partners Ukraine is already collaborating with. Starlink’s continued operation in Ukraine does not, however, seem to be imminent at this time.
Musk stated last month that Starlink terminals in Ukraine could not be funded “indefinitely” by SpaceX. His space company had requested financial support from the Pentagon, according to a CNN report, which led to the shocking news.
The funding was eventually restored after Musk changed his mind. The billionaire said on Twitter, “We’ll just keep funding Ukraine’s government for free, even though Starlink is still losing money & other corporations are getting billions of taxpayer dollars.”
Even when communication infrastructure is damaged in Ukraine’s conflict with Russia, Starlink internet terminals given by SpaceX have proven essential in keeping the soldiers online. As of late February, Russia has been occupying Ukraine.
Musk has drawn criticism for his remarks about the conflict in Ukraine. Musk is no new to controversy. He proposed in a Twitter poll that regions that Russia had illegitimately seized be permitted to hold referendums under U.N. supervision on whether they wanted to join Russia.
Additionally, he stated that in his opinion, Crimea, which Russia illegitimately took from Ukraine in 2014, belonged to that country and should be returned to Moscow. With a tweet asking, “Which Elon Musk do you like more? “, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy fired back at Musk. either one who is in favor of Russia or Ukraine.
Even the departing ambassador of Ukraine to Germany warned Musk to “f— off.” Musk responded that he was “simply following his advise” when asked why he wanted to stop supporting Starlink in Ukraine.
At Web Summit, Ukraine has made a significant showing as it looks to the public and corporate sectors for support as it intensifies its conflict with Russia. Microsoft President Brad Smith had earlier in the press conference announced a $100 million investment in technical assistance for Ukraine, bringing the company’s overall participation in the war effort to $400 million.
According to Smith, there has been “a new kind of hybrid war mixing cyber weapons and other assaults on digital technology.”
According to Smith, Microsoft’s decision will “allow the Ukrainian government and other companies to continue running their services through the Microsoft cloud and our public data centres located throughout Europe.”