NTC Approves Elon Musk’s Satellite Internet Provider, Starlink

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) reportedly approved the registration of Starlink Internet Services Philippines Inc. (Starlink) last Friday, May 27. Starlink is a subsidiary of Elon Musk’s SpaceX which has now been allowed to begin offering its services in the country.

Engineered by SpaceX, Starlink is a low-Earth orbit satellite system designed to bring broadband services to remote areas and the Philippines is set to be the first country in Southeast Asia to have it. It is expected to offer high-speed and low-latency satellite internet in the country from 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) to 200 Mbps. This gives Filipinos in remote areas a reduced delay in video calls, online gaming, streaming, and other “high data” activities, unlike with regular satellite internet.

NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba said Starlink has been approved as a value-added service (VAS) provider in a statement. This allows direct access to its satellite systems, as well as the construction and operation of broadband facilities. “The NTC is steadfast in helping ensure that roll-out of Starlink’s internet access services will be done expeditiously and professionally,” Cordoba stated.

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Photo: Starlink.com

“Starlink is expected to cover villages in urban and suburban areas and rural areas that remain unserved or underserved with internet access services. The service is expected to bring cost-effective internet access in these areas,” Cordoba said.

SpaceX counsel Atty. Bien Marquez thanked the NTC for its “prompt action”. Starlink’s VAS license was said to be issued 30 minutes after their submission of registration and complete requirements. “This shows the government’s seriousness in addressing the connectivity needs of our country in unserved and underserved areas. This will also prepare us in the event of natural disasters and calamities,” Marquez noted.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said Starlink is expected to jumpstart its operations in May.

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