Elon Musk’s Starlink Eyes PH Entry After Public Service Act Amendment

Elon Musk, the CEO and Chief Engineer of SpaceX | IMG Source: The Economic Times

MANILA, Philippines – After President Duterte signed the law amending the Public Service Act on Monday, March 21, easing foreign ownership of several major industries, Elon Musk’s firm SpaceX is eyeing to bring Starlink’s satellite broadband technology in the Philippines.

Republic Act 11659, signed by Pres. Duterte, excluded the following sectors from being classified as public utilities, and thus are now permitted to have full foreign ownership:

  • Telecommunications
  • Airlines
  • Expressways and Tollways
  • Railways
  • Shipping

Before RA No. 11659 was signed into law, the 85-year-old Public Service Act has implemented a maximum of 40-percent foreign ownership on these industries.

Duterte said he believes this law, with the easing of foreign equity restrictions, “will attract more global investors, modernize several sectors of public service, and improve the delivery of essential services.”

The President added, “It is also expected to generate more jobs for Filipinos, improve basic services for Filipino consumers, and allow for the exchange of skills and technology with the country’s foreign partners.”

During his interview with ANC, European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines President Lars Wittig said, “Elon Musk, Starlink is very much anticipated to make this available in the Philippines and as we know, Starlink makes internet available especially in remote areas where it is barely available today or at least a very low quality.”

With this project, national government and SpaceX keep far-flung areas of the country as the top priority to experience the benefits of Starlink’s advanced satellite broadband system.

In a previous report by the Philippine News Agency, the Board of Investments (BOI) has been undertaking talks with Musk’s SpaceX Exploration Technologies Corp.

“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,” BOI said.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has also expressed a positive reception on the use of satellite technology, saying this will pave the way for boosted financial inclusion and more efficient banking in remote areas, especially during times of disasters that greatly affect those area’s available internet connections.

BSP also said that satellite technology will play a huge role in its goal to digitalize 50 percent of payments by 2023.

Starlink’s official website states that its satellite technology offers high-speed, low latency broadband internet across the globe, and that users can expect download speeds of 100Mb/s to 200Mb/s, and latency as low as 20ms in most of its locations.

Sources: Inquirer, ABS CBN News, Philippine News Agency

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