President Marcos of the Philippines has expressed interest in partnering with US technology giant Starlink to address the issue of slow internet connection in the country. During his visit to the SpaceX facility, Marcos acknowledged the benefits that American technology offers in terms of improving connectivity and boosting productivity. With the Philippines being an archipelago of 7,000 islands, satellite broadband service provided by Starlink is seen as an ideal solution to enhance broadband connectivity throughout the nation.
Marcos emphasized the potential of this partnership to eliminate complaints about weak internet signal and slow online services, aiming for improved internet connectivity and speed that would receive praise instead. By adopting new technologies, Marcos believes that the Philippines can overcome the challenges of digitalization. This sentiment was shared by Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan Uy, who accompanied Marcos during the SpaceX facility tour.
In recent years, consumers in the Philippines have been discontented with the slow internet services, even though the country is known as the social media capital of the world. The World Broadband Speed League ranked the Philippines 86th out of 220 countries and territories, with an average download speed of 43.36 Mbps.
The collaboration with Starlink is expected to provide an advantage in linking hard-to-reach and remote areas in the Philippines. Starlink’s satellite internet technology transmits internet signals directly from space, eliminating the need for extensive infrastructure. Marcos revealed that a communications satellite specifically designed for the Philippines already exists, which will enable the country to fully utilize available technologies.
Additionally, a recent agreement between Philippine and US companies, Astranis and Orbits, promises to enhance internet connectivity in the country. The agreement involves launching microGEO satellites, the first of which will be named “Agila,” to provide connectivity to 10 million people and 30,000 barangays (villages). This initiative is expected to create over 10,000 jobs and attract a $400 million investment over the next eight years.