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Germany prepares subsidies for satellite ISPs such as Starlink

SpaceX Starlink 5 satellite image in the sky seen from Svendborg in South Funen, Denmark April 21, 2020, taken with long exposure Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS.

Germany wants to help people in rural areas get better access to the Internet. It supports the purchase of hardware for satellite Internet services such as Elon Musk̵

7;s Starlink, the Department of Transportation said Monday.

The planned subsidy program will be open to all operators offering wireless Internet connectivity in rural areas, such as via satellite or directional radio links, the ministry said.

Coalition negotiations on the details of the voucher program are ongoing. And the goal is to subsidize the purchase of technical equipment.

“Monthly costs for using the Internet connection are not included in the subsidy,” the ministry said.

The government will subsidize the purchase of Starlink satellite dishes and similar wireless ISPs, providing households with a grant of 500 euros ($611) the business daily Handelsblatt.

The decision came after Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer met SpaceX founder Musk at the construction site of Tesla’s first European plant near Berlin in mid-May. newspaper report

Starlink offers satellite internet for a monthly fee of 99 euros.

Musk said earlier this month that SpaceX has received more than 500,000 pre-orders for its Starlink satellite internet service.

The company plans to eventually deploy all 12,000 satellites and says the Starlink constellation will cost about $10 billion.

Building and launching rockets into space is a capital intensive business. But two of the world’s richest men, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Musk, the head of automaker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), have invested billions of dollars over the years to break into this market. Read more

($1 = 0.8179 euros)

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