Since the start of the war in Ukraine, SpaceX has provided thousands of terminals there, which provide an Internet connection through a constellation of satellites that form the Starlink network.
About 25,000 terminals have been deployed in the country so far, according to Elon Musk.
The SpaceX chief says the operation has already cost the company US$80 million (C$111 million), and the bill is expected to reach US$100 million (C$138 million) by the end of the year.
On Friday, the fiery entrepreneur warned that the aerospace company
does not [pouvait] not continue to fund the existing system indefinitely and ship thousands of additional terminals […]. This is not fair.
SpaceX challenges the Pentagon
According to CNN, SpaceX sent a letter to the Pentagon last month saying it could no longer afford the cost of service in Ukraine.
The company, according to CNN, asked the US Department of Defense to take over funding for the use of Starlink by the Ukrainian government and its military, which was estimated to cost US$400 million ($555 million Cdn). ) for the next 12 months.
The Starlink network has helped maintain internet coverage in areas of Ukraine affected by the Russian military. By June, about 15% of Ukraine’s existing Internet infrastructure had been destroyed or damaged, authorities said.
Ukrainian telecom operators have also been hit by several cyber attacks.
Elon Musk assures that with the exception of one
low percentagethe entire cost of installing and maintaining Starlink terminals in Ukraine was borne by SpaceX.
But the US Agency for International Development (USAID) said in April that it had bought 1,330 terminals from SpaceX for delivery to Ukraine.