The Philippine unit of technology billionaire Elon Musk secured a green light from the National Telecommunications Commission to operate as an internet service provider in the country.
The NTC approved the registration of Starlink Internet Services Philippines Inc., a subsidiary of Musk’s Starlink Satellite Internet Service.
Starlink’s VAS registration allows the company to directly access satellite systems, build and operate broadband facilities to offer internet services.
The NTC said Starlink is expected to “start offering internet access services to the Philippine market in the coming months.”
It said the swift processing of Starlink’s VAS provider registration was meant to expedite the service’s immediate roll-out.
NTC commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba said the agency welcomes the entry of Starlink in the Philippines, as the roll-out of its internet access services would benefit immensely unserved or undeserved areas in the country.
“The NTC is steadfast in helping ensure that roll-out of Starlink’s internet access services will be done expeditiously and professionally,” he said.
SpaceX’s counsel Bien Marquez of Quisumbing Torres lauded the NTC for issuing Starlink’s VAS license 30 minutes after submitting its 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,” he said.
The Philippines is expected to be the first country in Southeast Asia to offer Starlink services. The service offers high speed low latency satellite internet service with download speed between 100 megabits per second to 200 Mbps.
Using advanced satellites in a low orbit, Starlink will enable video calls, online gaming, streaming and other high data activities that historically have not been possible with satellite internet.
Starlink is expected to cover urban and suburban areas and rural areas that remain unserved or undeserved with internet access services. The service is seen to bring cost effective internet access in these areas.