Satellite service is available “on all continents” – but not in countries unpopular with the US government
Starlink founder Elon Musk announced on Monday that his satellite internet service has become “positive” on all continents. However, the service map published by the company shows current availability only in regions of the Americas, Europe and Australia – with Russia, China and a few other countries in the US “Naughty” the list is grayed out.
“Starlink is now active on all continents, including Antarctica,” Musk tweeted on Monday morning.
The map on the Starlink website has yet to be updated to reflect that claim, showing Antarctica in gray – like Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Belarus, Russia and China. Satellite internet service is currently only available in the western part of North America, Chile, southern Brazil, parts of Australia and most of the EU.
Ukraine is shown in “Waiting list” shade but not yet labeled. Musk personal appointment Starlink terminal to Kiev earlier this year, received regulatory approval in June. While Starlink has funded more than 3,600 terminals – and internet services – the US government has paid for another 1,300 or so, according to Washington Post.
These devices were used by the Ukrainian military, which drew criticism from Russia. Konstantin Vorontsov, head of the Russian delegation to the working group of the United Nations Office on Disarmament (UNODA), said last week that “The use of civilian elements, including commercial, and space infrastructure by the United States and its allies, for military purposes” to be “provocative” and potentially in violation of the Outer Space Treaty.
“It seems that our colleagues do not realize that such actions in fact constitute indirect involvement in military conflicts. Semi-civilian infrastructure could become a legitimate target for retaliation,” Vorontsov added.
Musk replied on Friday by tweet that “Starlink is for peaceful use only.”
SpaceX has more than 3,000 Starlink satellites in orbit and plans to launch 40,000 more in the coming years. However, Musk may face a surge in sunlight activity, which is expected to peak in 2025. One such outbreak in February sent 38 new-launched satellites miss orbit and burn up in the atmosphere, according to a recent report emphasize by Newsweek.