As early as September, SpaceX, the company that operates the Starlink internet satellite network, asked US authorities to take over payment of bills for internet access. When the information reached the public, Elon Musk tried to justify the decision with high operational costs, later admitting he was upset when the Ukrainian ambassador publicly criticized him for his views on Russian-occupied regions. But now the billionaire seems to have changed his mind again.
Elon Musk has changed his mind again following last week’s scandal
After the online scandal that seems to have damaged the billionaire’s public image, he has announced that he will no longer charge for internet access via Starlink in Ukraine. Musk seems to be rather disappointed, however, that the US government did not accept the offer to fund SpaceX’s efforts, but will still keep the connections active, with no expectation of receiving money in return.
“Even if Starlink still loses money and other companies receive billions in taxpayer money, we will continue to fund the Ukrainian government for free”, Elon Musk said on his Twitter account.
The hell with it … even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 15, 2022
The billionaire also says this funding has no deadline. Basically, Ukraine will get free access to Starlink for as long as it takes.
Pentagon officials said of the SpaceX request that there are other service providers they are working with to support Ukrainian troops:
“It’s not just SpaceX, there are other entities that we can partner with when it comes to providing what Ukraine needs on the front lines.”
According to CNN, of the 20,000 Starlink terminals that SpaceX has provided to troops and agencies in Ukraine, about 85% would already be partially or fully funded by the US, UK, Poland and other countries or outside entities.