Tech

US taxpayers accidentally paid millions of dollars to get Starlink terminals to Ukraine


Immediately after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to send Starlink Internet terminals to the country. His company made a donation and are covering the cost of the service for a few months. However, the US government is said to have paid millions of dollars for some terminals and brought them all back to Ukraine, despite statements to the contrary from the company’s president.

The U.S. Agency for International Development purchased about 1,500 terminals at a cost of $1,500 each, according to documents obtained by Reuters. It also covered transportation costs for all terminals at $800,000, which resulted in the agent destroying more than $3 million. In total, the agency and SpaceX sent more than 5,000 terminals to Ukraine, with a third-party contractor handling the shipping and delivery.

It is not clear if USAID overpays the terminals. SpaceX the price of a Starlink terminal from $499 to $549 for depositors and up to $599 for new orders. As of April 22, the monthly price of internet service provided by satellite is increasing from $99 to $110. The company announced a higher-level service earlier this year for $2,500 for a terminal and $500 per month for the service.

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell that France and possibly Poland helped bring the terminals to Ukraine. “I don’t think the US has given us any money to provide terminals to Ukraine,” Shotwell said. SpaceX is said to have funded $10 million worth of Starlink terminals and services to the country, which is commendable enough, although the company doesn’t exactly know the source of the funding for other parts of its operations. Where does the move come from?

Above all, Musk must through the use of Starlink, since Russia can determine the location of a terminal uplink. Musk urged people to use Starlink only when absolutely necessary and to stay away from others while doing so.

This isn’t the first time Musk has offered to help in a crisis where his input hasn’t been smooth. In 2018, he was traveled to Thailand to assist in the rescue of 12 boys and their coach trapped in a cave. Not only were those people brought to safety by the time he got there, the mini-sub was also anyway.

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