In February, Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, tweeted SpaceX founder Elon Musk asking the billionaire to connect Ukraine to the internet.
Within hours, Musk responded that the company’s satellite internet service Starlink “is now active in Ukraine” with “more terminals en route.”
Now, in an interview published Friday, The Washington Post reports that the service is working effectively, connecting Ukraine to the rest of the world.
1000s of antennas
Fedorov said his struggling nation has received thousands of internet antennas that are “very effective”.
“The link quality is excellent,” Fedorov said through a translator, using a Starlink connection. “We use thousands, in the thousands of area, of terminals with new shipments arriving every other day.
Curiously, The Washington Post reached out to Musk to comment on this story and received a response to give his regards “to your puppeteer master Besos😘😘”. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Post.
But even though he didn’t want to comment, the story makes him and his internet service look pretty good. After all, if the service can function-through warring conditions, it can certainly hold up in peaceful-times.
For now, however, the service is proving to be what Musk wanted: to reach those most in need. In June 2021, Musk had said his service would be available globally in 5 weeks and would focus on helping those who need it most.
“You can think of Starlink Satellite as a means of filling the gaps between 5G & fiber,” Musk said at the time, “to really getting to the hardest-to-reach 3-5%” of people who need high-speed broadband internet. We will have 500,000 users within 12 months. It’s growing fast and we’re continuing to [roll out] the user terminal.”