Elon Musk’s Starlink internet service now in Philippines

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
Elon Muskâs Starlink internet service now in Philippines
In this file photo taken on March 9, 2020 Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, speaks during the Satellite 2020 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.
AFP / Brendan Smialowski

MANILA, Philippines — Billionaire Elon Musk’s company SpaceX yesterday announced that satellite internet service Starlink is now available in the Philippines.

The company made the announcement in a tweet written in Filipino.

Those in the Philippines may subscribe for a monthly service fee of P2,700, on top of a one-time hardware fee of P29,320.

The published rates for the residential internet service, which promises download speeds of up to 200 Megabits per second (Mbps), are lower than the previously announced $99 monthly fee and $599 one-time hardware fee.

Based on Starlink’s availability map, the residential internet service is currently available in all parts of the Philippines, except in Metro Manila, which is currently on waitlist.

The company said it is expanding to the region in the first quarter of 2023 while those in Metro Manila can already order and reserve access to Starlink.

Starlink Business, which offers download speeds of up to 350 Mbps, however, is still not available in the Philippines.

According to SpaceX, “Starlink is the world’s first and largest satellite constellation using a low Earth orbit to deliver broadband internet capable of supporting streaming, online gaming, video calls and more.”

“Leveraging advanced satellites and user hardware coupled with our deep experience with both spacecraft and on-orbit operations, Starlink delivers high-speed, low-latency internet to users all over the world,” it added.

Latency refers to the delay it takes for the data to travel between users and the network. SpaceX said Starlink has lower latency since its constellation of satellites orbit closer to earth compared to the ones used by other satellite internet services.

While fiber optic services are often seen as more reliable and can offer faster internet speeds, satellite internet services would enable those in far-flung and geographically isolated areas to have online access.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology earlier bared plans to deploy Starlink to geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas that are not reached by the fiber optic network of local telecommunications companies.

The satellite internet service may also be used to provide online access in areas affected by disasters, particularly those cut off from regular internet and telecommunications services. – Paolo Romero


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