U.S. Air Force to Use SpaceX Starlink in Africa and Europe, Spend $1.9 Million

  1. What's important to keep in mind is that no African government has, to date, approved Starlink for use by its citizens.

  2. It’s part of the SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) agreements they have with foreign governments. Many years ago, I was working to setup a live TV broadcast out of Iwo Jima on one of the last veteran commemorations. Only satellite coverage I could find for it was on a bird owned by GE. The problem was that they didn’t have landing rights for Japan, and the dish the USMC had wasn’t explicitly licensed to operate in Japan.

  3. I love the Starlink no grift model, but in some countries they will be the only ones holding a corrupt government accountable. Probably a good thing we hold back internet but not flour. Pretty soon people will lament that Starlink could dissuade corrupt governments if the people had starlink and thus Starlink should play ball with these countries.

  4. Century link did the same to me. Sent me the equipment. Then when it didn’t work I called them. They flipped two numbers in my address and since it came up as new they just went with it. However now they tell me fiber next year. We shall see

  5. Spacex should simply bill the Air Force for the $1B FCC snub. That’s peanuts for what the military spends on comms and even at that price point, will be significantly higher yield than most military systems.

  6. This is better, strategically speaking, than the rural broadband subsidy, but not tactically so to speak.

  7. If you’re talking about capability, yes it is better tactically. The military is going to be all over Starlink for battlefield comms. Tactical networks usually run on KA band and utilize the same echostar birds that Hughes Net uses. Running an entire battalion off of a TDMA satellite shot running 10m symmetrical is rough. Not to mention the setup and tear down time is terrible and often too complicated for the average soldier so they rely very heavily on their civilian counterpart SMEs. Replacing that transmission or adding the option for Starlink for comms in theater would be a monumental change, not only because of the throughput and latency, but the speed and simplicity of deployment when jumping an operations center.

  8. What's important to keep in mind is, with the FCC pulling the rug out from under the $866M+ subsidy for Starlink this week, is that this Air Force contract will be amended next week to re-prioritize all Air Force and Space Force use of Starlink to the lowest of priorities. With the U.S. government reducing the priority of assistance for Starlink, it seems logical that Starlink should reduce the service's priority for governmental use.

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