Satellite service is available “on all continents” – but not in countries the US government hates
Starlink founder Elon Musk announced on Monday that his satellite internet service has become “active” on all continents. However, a service map published by the company shows current availability only in parts of America, Europe and Australia – with Russia, China and several other countries in the US “naughty” list grayed out.
“Starlink is now active on all continents, including Antarctica”, Musk tweeted Monday morning.
The map on the Starlink website has yet to be updated to reflect that claim, with Antarctica shown in gray — as are Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Belarus, Russia, and China. The satellite internet service is currently only available in western North America, Chile, southern Brazil, parts of Australia and most of the EU.
Ukraine is shown in the “waiting list” shade but is not labeled. Musk sent personally Starlink terminals to Kiev earlier this year and will receive regulatory approval in June. While Starlink has donated more than 3,600 terminals — and the Internet service — the US government has paid about another 1,300, according to the Washington Post.
The devices have been used by the Ukrainian military, sparking criticism from Russia. Konstantin Vorontsov, the head of the Russian delegation to the United Nations Office on Disarmament (UNODA) working group, said last week that “the use by the US and its allies of elements of civilian, including commercial, space infrastructure for military purposes” used to be “provocative” and possibly in violation of the Outer Space Treaty.
“It seems that our colleagues do not realize that such actions are in fact indirect involvement in military conflicts. Quasi-civilian infrastructure could become a legitimate target for retaliation.” added Vorontsov.
Musk responded on Friday tweet That “Starlink is for peaceful use only.”
SpaceX has more than 3,000 Starlink satellites in orbit and plans to launch another 40,000 in the coming years. However, Musk may face an increase in solar flare activity, which is expected to peak in 2025. One such eruption in February caused 38 of the newly launched satellites to miss their orbital insertion and burn up in the atmosphere, according to a recent report highlighted by Newsweek.