CommsUpdate: Starlink Internet Services Philippines, a 100% owned subsidiary of SpaceX (Starlink), is reportedly aiming to fully cover the Philippines by the middle of 2023.
Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan John Uy is quoted by CNN Philippines as saying: ‘The number of satellites sent up there initially covers the northern hemisphere, but in my recent meeting with their representative here, they assured me that by middle of next year, they’ll have full 100% coverage for the Philippines.’
Service starts at the end of the year
On 26 May 2022, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) confirmed that Starlink Internet Services Philippines had received its certificate of registration as a value added service provider (VAS). Last month the venture set out its stall to launch its Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite internet service commercially by December 2022.
In a July press briefing, Starlink spokesperson Rebecca Hunter said that hopefully services will come onstream by the end of the year and will deliver high speed, low-latency satellite internet service with download speeds of between 100 Mbps and 200 Mbps.
Hunter added that the router kit for the new service will cost PHP33,000 ($599), on top of which users will pay roughly PHP5,500 per month for an uncapped service.
Starlink affordability questions
That news raised the issue of just how affordable Starlink’s internet service will be, given that it has been marketing itself as a way to make broadband internet accessible to those with no access or minimal options.
Starlink aims to target villages and rural areas that remain unserved or underserved with internet access services, providing a complementary service to those already provided by other telcos.
Uy said at the time that the government plans to shoulder the installation of the technology in rural areas. He also noted that the service can be shared in the community in addition to serving individual homes.
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