The company SpaceX 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 US government to take over.
Since the beginning 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 managing director of SpaceX, the operation has already cost the company $80 million and the bill should reach $100 million by the end of the year.
On Friday, the fiery entrepreneur warned that the space company “(could) not continue to finance the existing system indefinitely and send thousands of additional terminals (…). This is not reasonable.”
According to CNN, SpaceX sent a letter to the Pentagon last month indicating that it could no longer afford the costs of service in Ukraine.
The company was asking, according to CNN, the US Department to 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 over the next 12 months.
The Starlink network has helped maintain internet coverage in areas of Ukraine hit by the Russian military. As of June, about 15% of Ukraine's existing internet infrastructure had been destroyed or damaged, according to authorities.
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) reported in April that it purchased 1,330 terminals from SpaceX for delivery to Ukraine.
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my email@example.com 1-800-268-7128