Elon Musk backtracks and no longer wants to pay for the internet connection offered to Ukraine

Elon Musk has just announced on Twitter that SpaceX was no longer able to pay the costs associated with Starlink terminals sent to Ukraine. The billionaire is calling for the Pentagon to take over and fund the deployment of other facilities and ongoing service fees. A bill that could rise to 124 million dollars by the end of 2022.

starlink Ukraine invoice
Credits: Starlink

As you may know, many companies around the world have made sure to help Ukraine in the war effort against Russia. This is particularly the case of Tesla, which opened free Superchargers at the country’s borders to facilitate the escape of the population, but also of SpaceX, which sent tens of thousands of Starlink kits to Ukrainian military forces, institutions and NGOs. .

Thanks to these terminals, which provide an efficient satellite internet connection, Ukraine was able to stay connected while Russia had multiplied cyberattacks to undermine the country’s communications.

SpaceX can no longer pay for Starlink terminals offered to Ukraine

However, SpaceX informed the American Department of Defense that it was no longer able to finance the services currently deployed in Ukraine. In any case, this is what our colleagues from the CNN channel report. In a letter dated September 8, 2022, the company’s Director of Government Sales wrote that SpaceX is not “unable to make further donations of terminals to Ukraine, nor fund existing terminals indefinitely”.

In this same letter, SpaceX claims that the Pentagon takes over the financing of the additional Starlink terminals requested by Ukraine, as well as current service charges. Elon Musk’s company believes that the bill could be as high as $124 million for the remainder of 2022 and nearly $380 million for the next twelve months. According to Elon Musk, helping the country has already cost SpaceX $80 million.

Although the billionaire declined to comment on the CNN revelations, the business leader reacted on Twitter: “SpaceX is not asking to recover the expenses incurred, but neither can fund the existing system indefinitely and send several thousand additional terminals that have up to 100 times the data consumption of typical households”. he said on the social network.

Also read: SpaceX has already manufactured more than a million Starlink antennas according to Elon Musk

$20 million loss per month for SpaceX

In another postthe future owner of Twitter indicates that SpaceX would lose 20 million dollars per month. “In addition to terminals, we must create, launch, maintain and replenish satellites and ground stations, and pay for telephone operations for internet access through gateways. We also had to defend against cyberattacks and jamming, which are becoming increasingly difficult,” he assures.

Nevertheless, the CNN report states that the bill for Starlink connectivity offered to Ukraine was paid in part by the American, Polish and British governments. Thus, of the 25,000 terminals deployed on Ukrainian territory, 9,000 were paid for by Poland, and 1,700 by the United States. In April 2022, SpaceX provided an additional 3,670 Starlink kits.

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