Russia Claims SpaceX Starlink Internet is for Advancing U.S. Military Interests

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The world of internet service providers (ISPs) is competitive, to be sure, and in the years to come, as more low-Earth orbit satellite internet companies arise, they’ll become that way too.

To keep up with competition, Russia’s State Duma legislative body is considering imposing fines on those who use Western-based satellite companies like SpaceX’s Starlink, OneWeb, or any other non-Russian satellite constellations, according to a report in Popular Mechanics (via Ars Technica).

Instead, the country will build its own satellite internet company, called Sphere, which will be made available to Russian residents.

The report included recommended fines for both individuals and legal entities using Western-based satellite companies, ranging in cost from 10,000 rubles ($135 USD) all the way up to 1 million rubles ($13,500 USD).

SpaceX recently launched the Starlink beta in the UK the service’s first expansion beyond North America.

Russia’s Space Chief Dmitry Rogozin has said before that he views SpaceX as a rival company, and he’s also been highly critical of NASA and the US Department of Defense for partnering with the aeronautics company.

Rogozin said, “[Starlink is part of] a rather predatory, clever, powerful, high-technology policy of the USA, which uses Shock and Awe in order to advance, before all, their military interests.”

It’s unclear as of yet when Sphere will launch in Russia, but the government has made it clear that others will not be welcome within the country’s satellite internet market.

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