Elon Musk’s Starlink has been approved in the Philippines. The satellite internet service is expected to provide high-speed, reliable internet to areas of the Southeast Asian country that remain underserved. It would also provide an attractive alternative to the country’s existing internet providers, most of which are unpopular due to their cost and subpar service.
In a statement, the Philippines’ National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) stated that it had approved the registration of Starlink Internet Services Philippines Inc. as a Value-Added Service (VAS) provider. Starlink Internet Services Philippines Inc. is a wholly-owned Filipino subsidiary of Elon Musk’s private space company, SpaceX.
The NTC added that Starlink’s registration paved the way for the company to start offering internet access services to the Philippine market in the coming months. The regulator also noted that Starlink Philippines’ VAS registration “allows the company to directly access satellite systems, build and operate broadband facilities to offer internet services.”
SpaceX’s counsel in the Philippines, Bien Marquez of Quisumbing Torres, issued some words of gratitude to the NTC for its efforts to expedite the rollout of Starlink’s VAS License.
“We would like to thank the NTC for issuing Starlink’s VAS license 30 minutes after we submitted our application with complete requirements. This shows the government’s seriousness in addressing the connectivity needs of our countrymen in unserved and underserved areas. This will also prepare us in the event of natural disasters and calamities,” Marquez said.
The arrival of Starlink in the Philippines would likely be appreciated by consumers. The Philippines, after all, has an average download speed of 32.37 Mbps, placing it at about 100th place in global rankings. As noted by VICE, the Philippines’ internet service is also among the costliest in the world, with a 2020 Digital Quality of Life Index ranking the Philippines 82nd in terms of internet affordability out of 85 countries.
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