Starlink: The Elon Musk Created Internet Company Helping Ukriane

What is the Starlink Service Elon Musk Set Up in Ukraine? – Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and Space X, who recently hit the headlines after purchasing social media platform Twitter, announced on February 26 that his Starlink internet service had been activated in Ukraine. 

Just days after Russia launched its so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine, which has since seen thousands of Ukrainian civilians killed and prompted more than 5.5 million to flee the country, Musk’s Starlink system is active and helping Ukrainians stay connected.

Musk responded to a request by Ukrainian Vice Prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov, who appealed on Twitter for the Space X CEO to help.

“@elonmusk, while you try to colonize Mars — Russia try to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people!” Fedorov said in February. “We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand.”

What Is Starlink?

Starlink is a satellite internet constellation run by Musk’s Space X business. With a network of satellites orbiting the Earth, Starlink provides users across 32 countries access to the internet using ground transceivers.

Instead of relying on fiber-optic connections or 5G towers, Starlink connects users to satellites using transceivers that can be set up anywhere. Users can switch off a transceiver and take it with them. All a Starlink kit requires to establish a connection is a clear view of the sky. 

In Ukraine, most of the basic Starlink kits that have been donated use a 23-inch satellite receiver dish mounted outdoors. The receiver connects to a typical Wi-Fi router, which then shares the signal with computers, tablets, and cell phones.

Space X describes the Starlink system as a “high-speed, low-latency broadband internet” option for users all over the world. 

The connection is stable enough to allow users to make video calls, play online games, stream videos, and access data. Users typically see download speeds between 100 mb/s and 200 mb/s and latency that can be as low as 20ms. By low latency, Space X means that users should not expect a significant lag when making audio or video calls. 

Over 150,000 People In Ukraine Using Service Daily

On Monday, Mykhailo Fedorov announced on Twitter that there are roughly 150,000 daily active users of the Starlink service.

“This is crucial support for Ukraine’s infrastructure and restoring the destroyed territories,” Federov said. 

The term “daily active users” refers to the number of users who log onto the service daily – not people. Several people may be considered a single user if they access the same terminal. The true number of people relying on Starlink for reliable Internet access as Russian forces continue their assault on the eastern region of Ukraine could be in the millions, with tens of millions of Ukrainian citizens still in the country. 

Over 10,000 Starlink terminals are currently in use in Ukraine. More than $15 million has been spent by various stakeholders has been spent on hardware and transportation of said hardware to Ukraine. 

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

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