Elon Musk’s SpaceX continues to expand its Starlink satellite internet network in besieged Ukraine, with a government official saying that about 150,000 people use the service in the country each day.
Ukraine digital minister Mykhailo Fedorov wrote in tweet Monday that “rough data” about Starlink shows there are “around 150K” daily active users.
“This is crucial support for Ukraine’s infrastructure and restoring the destroyed territories,” Fedorov added.
Starlink is SpaceX’s network of about 2,000 satellites in low Earth orbit, designed to deliver high-speed internet anywhere on the planet. The company said in March that there are about 250,000 total Starlink subscribers, which includes both consumers and enterprise customers.
Notably, the daily active user count is different than the number of subscribers or Starlink terminals in Ukraine, as multiple users would be able to connect to each terminal.
There are more than 10,000 Starlink terminals – also known as dishes or antenna – providing service to Ukraine, NBC News reported last week. They have come from a variety of sources. In April, the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, told CNBC that “a range of stakeholders” contributed over $15 million worth in hardware and transportation services to deliver 5,000 Starlink terminals to Ukraine, with USAID directly procuring 1,333 terminals from SpaceX.
Fedorov caught Musk’s attention via a tweet shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, with the government official sending a plea for assistance after a suspected cyberattack disrupted previous satellite internet service and the Russian military began destroying communications infrastructure.