Press Release
February 3, 2021


Praising the "innovative culture" of Elon Musk's SpaceX company, Sen. Grace Poe spoke enthusiastically on the prospect of Starlink becoming a new player in the country's telecommunications industry.

"It's an exciting possibility. They are offering satellite technology for connectivity," said Poe, who noted that the endeavor could vastly improve internet access among unserved and underserved areas.

Starlink is a project of Musk's SpaceX which aims to put 12,000 satellites into low Earth orbit which will provide high-speed, low-latency, cheap internet access to anyone who has the proprietary Starlink receiver. The project has been lauded as a "game changer" by the tech community.

Poe also noted that the initial cost of SpaceX would initially be much higher than existing market rates, but would become more affordable over time.

"The cost at this point is quite prohibitive for the regular subscriber. It's about $500 just to set this up, or about P25,000. Having said that, that's not necessarily a bad thing because there's probably a niche market that will be able to afford this technology. And we are also looking forward that, in the future, with more subscribers, the cost will go down. Bababa rin kapag marami nang subscribers."

In the same breath, Poe renewed her push for her Better Internet bill (Senate Bill No. 1831) which would hold local telco players to higher standards-a cause that would be strengthened by the entry of Starlink as a new competitor.

"The current penalties are too low. So, it will not be a prevention from other telco companies to keep violating. It won't prevent them, it won't discourage them from violating because as mentioned, P200 is the penalty. In the bill that we have now, we are trying to increase that to P2 million and that they should at least deliver a high percentage of their maximum advertised standard. For example, they advertised 300 mbps, at least, if I'm not mistaken, 80 percent of the time that is the service speed that you should receive. So hopefully, we can pass this bill soon enough so that the telcos will be compelled to act."

Poe also lamented that decades of inaction from telco regulators had caused the country to fall behind.

"Napag-iiwanan na naman tayo dahil sa mga desisyon na hindi natin nagawa agad o ayaw nating gawin dahil lamang mayroong iba na pumipigil. Ilang beses nang maraming mga development project ang urong-sulong dahil mabagal ang approval. Kaya sana sa panahon na ito, gumawa tayo ng aksyon na ang mga ganitong kumpanya ay maaaring mamuhunan sa ating bansa."

News Latest News Feed