SpaceX has sent more Starlink terminals to Ukraine but experts warn of targeting
During its defence from Russia’s invasion Ukraine has suffered intermittent connectivity with some of the outages due to damage to telecoms infrastructure and others due to wider power outages. Satellite broadband services like Starlink can provide more reliable connectivity during crises and/or in rural locations. An initial batch of Starlink stations was delivered to Ukraine on 28 February. Ukrainians are said to have achieved speeds of over 200 Mbps with the system. SpaceX is updating the terminal’s software to reduce peak power consumption so that it can be powered from a vehicle’s cigarette lighter socket and reduce the vulnerability to power outages. Elon Musk, SpaceX’s CEO has warned that Starlink will be a target for Russian forces as the only communications system consistently available and John Scott-Railton, Senior Researcher at University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab project, has stated that Russia could use Starlink’s uplink transmissions in Ukraine as beacons for airstrikes which Russia has experience in after conducting airstrikes on VSAT terminals in places like Syria.