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SpaceX shipment of Starlink satellite-internet dishes arrives in Ukraine, government official says – CNBC

SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks on a screen during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, June 29, 2021.

Nacho Doce | Reuters

A shipment of SpaceX’s Starlink satellite-internet dishes arrived in Ukraine on Monday, less than 48 hours after CEO Elon Musk announced the company would send support, according to a top official in the nation’s government.

Ukraine digital minister Mykhailo Fedorov, who tagged Musk in a request on Twitter on Saturday, posted that Starlink was “here” in Ukraine — with a photo showing more than two dozen boxes of the company’s user kits in the back of a truck.

Each Starlink kit includes a user terminal to connect to the satellites, a mounting tripod and a Wi-Fi router. It’s not known how many kits SpaceX is sending to support Ukraine.

Fedorov thanked Musk in his tweet; Musk responded: “you are most welcome.”

Ukraine-based Oleg Kutkov tweeted a screenshot of an internet speed test on Monday, saying “Starlink is working in Kyiv” and thanked SpaceX for the company’s support.

The SpaceX CEO on Saturday stressed that Starlink was already “active in Ukraine.” Fedorov’s plea for assistance came after a suspected cyberattack disrupted the satellite-internet service of Viasat — although the number of customers affected by that company’s outage is unclear.

Musk has previously stressed Starlink’s flexibility of Starlink in providing internet service. In September, Musk talked about how the company would use links between the satellites to create a network that could provide service even in countries that prohibit SpaceX from installing ground infrastructure for distribution.

As for government regulators who want to block Starlink from using that capability, Musk had a simple answer.

“They can shake their fist at the sky,” Musk said.

SpaceX has launched about 2,000 Starlink satellites to date to support its global network. The company’s service has around 145,000 users as of January. They pay $99 a month for the standard service and $500 a month for the premium tier.

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