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DICT eyes Starlink services in remote areas by Q1 2023

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is targeting to deploy the services of SpaceX’s Starlink to isolated communities by early next year.
DICT eyes Starlink services in remote areas by Q1 2023
FREE Starlink in PH remote areas?

Communities to enjoy Starlink services soon?

DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy said this would be pursued once the US-based company could launch by the fourth quarter of this year. He noted this will be done through the government's "Broadband ng Masa" program.

We're hoping kung ready na rin sila, dapat ready na rin po tayo. So, I think first quarter [of 2023]. Ngayon pa lang hinahanda ko na yung mga teams ko to prepare draft terms of reference already, he said during a press conference last week.

Starlink is a division of American aerospace company SpaceX owned by billionaire Elon Musk, which currently operates approximately 1,500 low-earth orbit satellites into space.

Although the new administration has yet to allot the budget for the Broadband ng Masa project, Uy said the department will tap the funds earmarked for the FREE WiFi program.

Once operational, SpaceX Government Affairs senior manager Rebecca Hunter said Starlink users may experience 100 to 200 Megabits per second (Mbps) download speed and around 30 to 40 Mbps upload speed with a latency of 20 milliseconds (ms).

However, the Starlink kit and subscription may be too expensive for the masses as they have to cough up USD 599 and a monthly fee of USD 99.

To address this, Uy said the DICT will look for practical community-shared locations, such as barangay centers.

We will provide the connectivity for them. Until such time that the local government or the Department of Social Welfare and Development can give feedback that we have raised them up. We’ll keep an eye and over a year or two and once they can afford it, maybe the government can then cut the umbilical cord, he said.

Source: PNA

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