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Viasat Says ‘Cyber ​​Event’ Disrupts Satellite Internet Service


A Viasat Inc. logo displayed on a smartphone and in the background.

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Viasat said on Monday it believed a “cyber event” had disrupted its satellite internet service in Ukraine, with an ongoing outage under investigation.

“Viasat is experiencing a partial network outage, which is impacting internet service for fixed broadband customers in Ukraine and elsewhere on our European KA-SAT network,” the California-based company said in a statement to CNBC.

“We are investigating and analyzing our European network and systems to identify the root cause and are taking additional network precautions to avoid further impacts while we attempt to restore service to affected customers.”

The Viasat outage began on Feb. 24, the day Russia invaded Ukraine, according to the company. Viasat said it informed “law enforcement and government partners”. While the investigation is ongoing, Viasat added that “we have no indication that customer data is involved.”

Viasat declined to say how many customers are affected by the outage. It is not known how many customers Viasat has in Ukraine.

Shares of Viasat were little changed in premarket trading from its previous close of $43.50.

SpaceX announces sending satellite dishes to Ukraine

A Starlink user terminal, also known as an antenna or satellite dish, on the roof of a building.

SpaceX

Viasat operates large satellites in geosynchronous orbit – meaning they are stationary at a point above the Earth and placed approximately 35,000 kilometers above the Earth to maximize each satellite’s coverage area.

This represents the traditional method of delivering broadband services from space, but a number of companies are investing funds in the development of networks in low Earth orbit that use hundreds or thousands of satellites, such as Starlink from SpaceX.

On Sunday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced that his company’s service was “active in Ukraine”, with “more terminals on the way” to provide internet access to the country. Musk’s tweet came in response to a request for Starlink support from Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov.

Musk did not specify the number of terminals, which represent the ground antenna for users to connect to the network, or when the additional support from SpaceX would arrive.

SpaceX has launched 2,000 Starlink satellites to date. The company’s service has around 145,000 users as of January, who pay $99 per month for the standard service or $500 per month for a premium tier.


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