Elon Musk promises a lot.
And often, he does not follow his promises.
Get Tesla Inc Reportfounder''s detractors, who consider him a shady man, say they will only believe his promises when they see him take action. This was the first time in Ukraine''s invasion in the early days.
Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine''s vice prime minister and digital minister, has asked for help on Twitter after making a substantial promise.
"@elonmusk, while you fight to colonize Mars Russia try to occupy Ukraine!" Fedorov wrote on February 26. "We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand."
Musk reacted positively to the request made by the Ukrainian official only a few hours after the request.
The serial entrepreneur promises that the Starlink service is now operating in Ukraine. "More terminals are on the way."
Musk Promised Starlink Terminals to Ukraine
The statements of the world''s richest man did not reassert his many critics, who believed the process more as a posture than a real commitment. However, a few days later the same Fedorov confirmed that the Starlink terminals had arrived in Ukraine and seemed to work.
"Received the second shipment of Starlink stations!" Fedorov said on March 9. "@elonmuskkeeps his word! Thank you for your support of Ukraine and peace in the whole world! Thank you OMarkarova!
Musk gave the company a satellite internet service to deal with the difficulties of telecoms services in the United States. Starlink is a constellation of satellites and connecting stations offered by SpaceX.
The Starlink satellite network may assist in connecting areas affected by Russian army assaults.
Fedorov has just stated that the service will continue to expand in Ukraine after the first shipment of Starlink kits. And above all, Starlink is a "crucial" support for Ukraine, which is also involved in a communication dispute.
"Rough data on Starlink''s usage: around 150K active users per day," Fedorov said on Twitter on May 2. "This is critical support for Ukraine''s infrastructure and restore the destroyed territories."
Starlink Expands in Ukraine
As the Russian war continues, and some towns in the country are now occupied by Russia, Fedorov says Starlink is now a lifeline for many of his compatriots. The Russian invasion has already killed many people and caused the displacement of millions of people. Material losses are also significant.
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"No matter what, Ukraine will remain connected." Fedorov claims.
The messages from Fedorov have sparked many positive comments against Elon Musk.
Elon Musk is a huge and helpful billionaire, according to one user.
"I think that@elonmusk should be invited to visit Ukraine," another user wrote.
These compliments aren''t a surprise because the same Fedorov had already posted images last month, which helped make Musk even more apparent. The photographs show how Ukrainians were using Starlink terminals (also known as dishes or antenna).
One example of people''s interest in these mobile dishes capable of hooking up a satellite signal to provide an Internet connection to the population. Many people are also visible hooking up a Wi-Fi signal with their smartphones.
If Musk receives all of the compliments, the financing of this aid is much more complex and involves US taxpayers.
Who Is Paying?
USAID (the United States Agency for International Development) disclosed on April 5, that it had delivered 5,000 Starlink terminals to the Ukrainian government as part of a public-private partnership with SpaceX.
"The Starlink satellite terminals will allow public officials and critical citizen service providers to continue to communicate in Ukraine and with the outside world, even if [Vladimir] Putins brutal aggression severs Ukraine''s fiber optic or cell communication infrastructure connections," the agency said in a press release.
A previous version of the press release, which has been withdrawn but available on social media, details more on the partnership with SpaceX. We discovered that 1,333 of the 5,000 terminals are entirely funded by USAID, and the rest are donations from SpaceX for a valuation of $10 million.
USAID purchased another 175 kits to ship them to Ukraine via an air carrier connecting Los Angeles to Poland. The terminals are then transported by road via trucks. The agency also contributed to the delivery costs, up to $800,000.
In March, SpaceX has launched about 2,335 Starlink satellites, including spacecraft that were decommissioned or suffered deinstallations, according to Vice President of Starlink commercial sales.
Starlink''s premium service, which includes a dish, a WiFi router, and a tripod, will cost users a total of $2,500 for the hardware, and another $500 a month for the service.
For hardware, the standard service costs $499 per month, and $99 per month.
Hofeller said the service has 250,000 subscribers, including one thats across consumer, business, and many businesses.