Elon Musk’s Starlink gets nod to provide internet in Philippines

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a payload of 53 Starlink satellites lifts off from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on May 18, 2022. (Reuters photo)

Elon Musk’s Starlink has been authorised to provide satellite internet services in the Philippines, paving the way for the SpaceX unit’s expansion to Southeast Asia. Shares of possible partners rose.

The Philippine National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said it approved Starlink’s registration as a value-added service provider, according to a statement on Friday. This would allow Starlink to directly access satellite systems, and to build and operate broadband facilities.

The Philippines will be the first country in Southeast Asia to offer Starlink’s high speed, low latency satellite internet service, the NTC said. 

Starlink’s entry will benefit under-served areas in the Philippines, NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba said in the statement. The government last year eased access to satellite technology to expand internet connectivity in the archipelago. 

Transpacific Broadband Group International Inc, which said in October it’s looking to partner with Starlink, jumped as much as 15.3% on Friday. IT solutions provider DFNN Inc, whose chairman met with SpaceX executives, climbed as much as 12.6%. Converge ICT Solutions, Inc, which signed a deal with SpaceX to lease infrastructure, rose as much as 3.3%.