The company of one of the world’s richest business moguls, Ellon Musk’s SpaceX, on Friday secured the nod of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to provide Internet connectivity in the country.
According to the NTC, it greenlighted Starlink’s registration as a value-added service (VAS) provider which would allow the firm to directly access satellite systems and build and operate broadband facilities to offer internet services.
“The NTC is steadfast in helping ensure that the roll-out of Starlink’s internet access services will be done expeditiously and professionally. The NTC’s swift processing of Starlink’s VAS provider registration was meant to expedite the service’s immediate roll-out,” NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba said in a statement.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said SpaceX’s Philippine subsidiary, Starlink Internet Services Philippines Inc, is already rushing the setup of its headquarters to expand its operation in the country and provide Internet services using a low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite network constellation called Starlink.
The constellation consists of over 1,600 satellites in mid-2021 and will eventually comprise thousands more mass-produced small satellites in LEO, which communicate with designated ground transceivers.
The Ellon Musk-conceptualized technology, Starlink, offers low latency satellite Internet service with a download speed between 100 Mbps to 200 Mbps using advanced satellites in low orbit.
Earlier, SpaceX said they are bullish on their expansion here due to the growing consumer base and much-improved investment climate in the country with the current major economic reforms initiated during the term of President Rodrigo Duterte.
They noted that the signing of the amended Public Service Act, which allows up to 100 percent foreign ownership of public services in the country, was a critical factor in the company’s decision to invest, as all its technologies are proprietary.
Secretary Lopez, months ago, had vowed to expedite the processing of the clearances of SpaceX at NTC and the Department of Information and Communications Technology, noting that as the third addition in the telecom industry, their presence would oblige local players in the market to excel, provide competitive pricing and better services to consumers.
On the other hand, SpaceX, through its legal counsel Atty. Bien Marquez, extolled the government’s help for them to acquire their VAS license
“We would like to thank the NTC for issuing Starlink’s VAS license 30 minutes after we submitted our application with complete requirements. This shows the government’s seriousness in addressing the connectivity needs of our countrymen in unserved and underserved areas. This will also prepare us in the event of natural disasters and calamities,” Marquez said.