Claiming a first for Southeast Asia, the government of the Philippines has announced that US-based SpaceX plans to use its Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite network constellation Starlink to provide internet services across the archipelago. The country’s Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the project aims to deliver high speed broadband access and better connectivity, particularly in areas of the country where it is currently difficult or impossible to provide internet access. Lopez reportedly stated that, following discussions that started in November 2021, the paperwork is being prepared for SpaceX’s legal registration and the project should complete before outgoing president Rodrigo Duterte leaves office on 30 June. The official added that the recent decision to remove the cap on foreign ownership of public services in the Philippines was a key factor in SpaceX’s decision to commit to the plan. It is understood the US firm will set up a wholly owned local subsidiary in due course and that it aims to deploy three gateways in the initial launch phase.