Starlink Internet Terminals Arrive in Ukraine

    Image copyright: Starlink [via PC Magazine]

    The Facts

    • A truckload of Elon Musk's Starlink user terminals has arrived in Ukraine following Musk's commitment to help provide redundant internet services.

    • The extent to which Starlink could help provide connectivity in Ukraine remains unknown. Ukrainian officials are reportedly purchasing additional Starlink equipment, including used devices.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Musk's gesture is a model for responding to a crisis. While Starlink isn't perfect and won't solve Ukraine's communications problems, it's a massive step forward. Musk's willingness to keep the people of Ukraine connected in any way possible should be applauded.

    Narrative B

    This could be extremely dangerous. Starlink equipment could paint a giant target on Ukrainian users' backs. Russia has decades of experience using satellite signals to identify, target, and kill enemies. Even Musk tweeted, "Please use with caution."

    Narrative C

    Older technology may be the key to keeping Ukraine connected to the outside world. As Russia targets infrastructure, cyberspace, and dissent, the BBC has resumed broadcasting to Ukraine on shortwave radio, which was once the safe, affordable method to reach millions in conflict zones. There's real potential here -- BBC's audiences in Ukraine and Russia have more than doubled since the invasion began.

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