SpaceX's satellite-based internet service Starlink saw a massive surge in users after the founder offered Ukrainians access to the service in response to Russia's invasion.
Ukrainian officials announced that approximately 150,000 Ukrainians could access the internet daily using Starlink. Adding Ukraine to its user base offered a significant increase for Starlink, which reported having 140,000 daily users in November 2021.
"Rough data on Starlink's usage: around 150K active users per day," Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted on Monday. "This is crucial support for Ukraine's infrastructure and restoring the destroyed territories. Ukraine will stay connected no matter what.
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Rough data on Starlink's usage: around 150K active users per day. This is crucial support for Ukraine's infrastructure and restoring the destroyed territories. Ukraine will stay connected no matter what. pic.twitter.com/XWjyxPQJyX— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) May 2, 2022
While Starlink has not released its numbers since the Russian invasion, it has released select metrics in the past. The satellite network told the Federal Communications Commission that it had 140,000 users across 20 countries in November 2021. That number has continued to grow since then. Musk reported in February 2022 that the company had 250,000 customers, including personal and enterprise accounts. Many of these accounts have multiple users, making it difficult to determine the exact number of daily users. The report was also completed before Russia's invasion.
Musk announced on Feb. 27 that "Starlink service is now active in Ukraine" after Fedorov requested that Musk provide Starlink stations to Ukraine during the invasion. An estimated 10,000 stations have been provided by Musk and the United States Agency for International Development, according to NBC News. Internet connections provided by Starlink have also helped Ukrainian forces use aerial surveillance to track troop movements and drones, according to the Telegraph.
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The majority of Ukraine is connected to the internet but faces regular outages due to loss of power and Russian strikes damaging the local infrastructure. Starlink has helped counter these problems through its wireless connection to the internet.
A representative from SpaceX did not respond to requests for comment from the Washington Examiner.