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Phl, US based tech company discuss investment opportunity in the country to expand internet reach

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Philippine Trade Undersecretary and Board of Investment (BOI) Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo (second from left), Commercial Counselor Kenneth Yap (first from left), and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC WDC) Team at the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. met with SpaceX, Rebecca Hunter, Sr. Manager, Gov’t. affairs and Brian Schepis, Sr. (seated) Manager for market access on Nov. 16, 2021, to discuss Starlink’s plan to put up a Philippine-registered company that will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of SpaceX Exploration Technologies Corp, a US corporation. The company eyes to offer satellite internet services in the Philippines, particularly on providing broadband connectivity to remote areas where traditional internet (based on land cables) is limited or virtually absent. 

Undersecretary Rodolfo had a series of follow-up online meetings with the company, immediately following Senate ratification in December last year and an update session on February 2, 2022, upon the ratification of the proposed amendments to the Public Service Act (PSA), allowing full foreign ownership for satellite internet services in the country and not requiring legislative franchise for public services. 

With the entry of Starlink into the Philippines, high-speed satellite broadband connectivity is expected to be delivered to customers nationwide, specifically in areas where connectivity has been a challenge.  

Founded by Elon Musk, SpaceX is a global space launch provider with internal design and manufacturing capabilities. It is leveraging this experience to deploy the world’s most advanced satellite broadband internet system, called Starlink, which provides satellite internet access to most of the Earth. Its constellation consists of over 1600 satellites in mid-2021, and will eventually consist of thousands of mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), which communicate with designated ground transceivers. Although the technical possibility of satellite internet service covers most of the global population, actual service can be delivered only in countries that have licensed SpaceX to provide service within any specific national jurisdiction. As of September last year, the beta service offering is already available in 17 countries. 

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