SpaceX says it can no longer afford to fund the Starlink network in Ukraine
The Starlink network has helped maintain internet coverage in areas of Ukraine hit by the Russian military.
The SpaceX company can no longer afford to continue funding the Starlink Internet network in Ukraine, its boss Elon Musk warned on Friday, calling on the US government to take over.
< p class="e-p">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 so far, according to Elon Musk.
According to SpaceX's chief executive, the operation has already cost the company US$80 million (C$111 million) and the bill is expected to reach US$100 million (C$138 million) from ;by the end of the year.
On Friday, the fiery entrepreneur warned that the space company could not continue to fund the existing system indefinitely and send thousands of additional terminals […]. This is not reasonable.
Elon Musk is the big boss of SpaceX.
According to CNN, SpaceX sent a letter to the Pentagon last month advising it could no longer afford the costs of service in Ukraine.
The company was, according to CNN, asking the US Department of Defense to take over funding for the use of Starlink by the Ukrainian government and its military, which was estimated to cost US$400 million ($555 million). Canadian dollars) for 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 existing internet infrastructure in Ukraine had been destroyed or damaged, according to authorities.
Ukrainian telecommunications operators have also been targeted by numerous cyberattacks .
Elon Musk assures that except for a small percentage, the entire cost of deploying and maintaining Starlink terminals in Ukraine were supported by SpaceX.
But the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) reported in April that it had purchased 1,330 terminals from SpaceX for deliver to Ukraine.