Friday, September 22, 2023

PH gov’t, SpaceX execs meet in US to discuss plans to put up PH unit

Officials of the Philippine government met with executives from SpaceX last Nov. 16, 2021 at the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC to discuss the aerospace firm’s plan to put up a wholly-owned Philippine-registered subsidiary. 

Photo shows DTI undersecretary and BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo (second from left), commercial counselor Kenneth Yap (first from left), and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC WDC) team with SpaceX exec Brian Schepis (seated)
Photo from BOI

The Philippine delegation was led by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) undersecretary and Board of Investment (BOI) managing head Ceferino Rodolfo while SpaceX was represented by Rebecca Hunter, the company’s senior manager for government affairs, and Brian Schepis, manager for market access.

The US company is eyeing to offer satellite Internet services in the Philippines, particularly on providing broadband connectivity to remote areas where traditional cable-based Internet is limited or virtually absent.

Rodolfo since had a series of follow-up online meetings with the company, immediately following the Senate ratification in December last year and an update session in February this year on the proposed amendments to the Public Service Act (PSA), allowing full foreign ownership for satellite Internet services in the country and not requiring legislative franchise for public services.

With the entry of Starlink into the Philippines, high-speed satellite broadband connectivity is expected to be delivered to customers nationwide, specifically in areas where connectivity has been a challenge. 

Founded by billionaire Elon Musk, SpaceX is a global space launch provider with internal design and manufacturing capabilities. It is leveraging this experience to deploy advanced a satellite broadband Internet system called Starlink.

Its constellation consists of over 1,600 satellites in mid-2021, and will eventually consist of thousands of mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), which communicate with designated ground transceivers.

Although the technical possibility of satellite Internet service covers most of the global population, actual service can be delivered only in countries that have licensed SpaceX to provide service within any specific national jurisdiction. As of September last year, the beta service offering is already available in 17 countries.


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