Germany to Subsidize SpaceX Starlink Hardware for Rural Residents

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German officials are creating subsidies to help users purchase SpaceX’s Starlink internet hardware, according to a Monday statement from the country’s transport ministry.

As reported by Reuters, the German transport ministry has created subsidies for wireless internet companies like radio links and satellite internet – including the low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite dish hardware needed for SpaceX’s Starlink internet service. The government subsidy is open to all wireless internet providers, though Starlink is currently in a mode of rapid expansion.

While discussions on the wireless internet voucher system are still underway, the agency added that it hopes to specifically subsidize the hardware needed to make satellite and other wireless internet services work.

In a statement, the transport ministry said, “The monthly costs for using the internet connection will not be covered by the grant.”

The German government plans to subsidize the cost of Starlink satellite dishes for customers, worth up to 500 euros ($611 USD), according to Handelsblatt. The internet service itself, which will not be covered by the German subsidy, is 99 euros per month.

Starlink’s early users have been impressed with its speeds, and the service doesn’t compare to anything else offered in remote locations, so the service stands to benefit rural internet users most of all.

Earlier this month, fellow satellite internet company Viasat requested for the FCC to pause SpaceX’s Starlink launches, though Starlink plans to have its satellite constellation cover the entire Earth by the end of 2022.

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