Ukraine lost access to 1,300 Starlink terminals as it was unable to pay the sum demanded for their operation.
On October 24, the Ukrainian army had to deal with a partial internet outage after 1,300 terminals star link have been disconnected because of a funding problem, according to CNN. The outage came as talks between SpaceX and the US Department of Defense continue despite Elon Musk saying the company would continue to foot the bill for the country’s use of Starlink.
Ukraine lost access to 1,300 Starlink terminals
“Negotiations are continuing. Everyone in the building knows we’re going to pay them,” a Pentagon official said, adding that the Department of Defense wants this all written down, “because we’re afraid he’ll change his mind. ”.
In September, SpaceX sent a letter to the Pentagon, asking the Department of Defense to cover the expenses related to Ukraine’s use of Starlink service. On October 15, following a big outcry, Elon Musk seemed to reverse his decision to ask for help from the American government: “Fed up… we will just provide what the Ukrainian government needs for free”, tweeted- he, indicating shortly after to The Financial Times that the company would do this “until further notice”.
being unable to pay the sum requested for their operation
According CNN, last month’s outage was a “huge problem” for the Ukrainian military. In March, the country had purchased the 1,300 terminals from a British company. SpaceX reportedly charged Ukraine $2,500 per month to keep each terminal operational. Eventually, the country could no longer afford to pay the $3.25 million per month and requested financial assistance from the British Ministry of Defence. After some discussion, the two parties agreed to prioritize other military spending.
“We support a number of terminals which are of direct tactical interest to the Ukrainian military in its fight to repel the invasion of Russia,” a British official told CNN. “We are considering and prioritizing all requests in terms of the impact these contributions could have in helping Ukraine defend its people against Putin’s deplorable invasion.”
Even if SpaceX and the US Department of Defense were to sign an agreement, no one knows if the Pentagon will have greater control over Starlink service in Ukraine. Currently, the American company decides where Ukrainian troops can use the terminals.