Gov't officials meet with Elon Musk's SpaceX for potential Starlink expansion in PH

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 28 2022 01:09 PM

Deployment of a Starlink Satellite. Photo: Elon Musk/Twitter
Deployment of a Starlink Satellite. Photo: Elon Musk/Twitter


MANILA - Philippine government officials have met with Elon Musk's SpaceX for Starlink's potential expansion to the country, the Department of Trade and Industry said Monday.

DTI said Philippine officials, including the Philippine Trade and Investment Center Team at the Philippine Embassy in Washington, met with SpaceX officials on Nov. 16, 2021.

The meeting was set to discuss "Starlink’s plan to put up a Philippine-registered company that will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of SpaceX Exploration Technologies Corp," the statement set.

The company is eyeing to offer satellite internet services and broadband connectivity to remote areas in the Philippines that usually can't be reached by traditional internet service providers, the DTI said. 

"With the entry of Starlink into the Philippines, high-speed satellite broadband connectivity is expected to be delivered to customers nationwide, specifically in areas where connectivity has been a challenge," the agency said.

Trade Undersecretary and Board of Investment (BOI) Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said a series of follow-up online meetings were held in December upon the ratification of the Public Services Act (PSA), which eases restrictions on foreign ownership of satellite internet services in the country, DTI said. 
 
Starlink is a SpaceX unit that provides satellite internet access to earth using low orbit satellite technology. Musk has been deploying satellites to space for the project. 

Musk said over the weekend that Starlink services were active in Ukraine, whose internet services were disrupted by the Russian invasion.

As of mid-2021, Starlink has a constellation of 1,600 satellites. In September 2021, the beta service has been operating in 17 countries.

Converge founder and CEO Dennis Anthony Uy has been vocal about tapping Starlink to boost connectivity in underserved and unserved areas.

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