Big Tech Lobbies EU to Send Ukraine Equipment Destroyed by War

It's not just weapons: the country requires telecom and data center hardware.

Bloomberg News

May 25, 2022

1 Min Read
Telecommunications equipment

(Bloomberg) -- Tech companies are urging the European Commission to boost donations of telecom and data center equipment to Ukraine by providing better coordination and funding.

The European lobby group DigitalEurope, which represents nearly 100 companies including Inc and Microsoft Corp., said while attention has been focused on humanitarian aid and weapons, “the Russian armed forces are also destroying vital radio and telecoms equipment – critical infrastructure for a modern state to function,” according to a letter seen by Bloomberg.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk also donated more than 12,000 Starlink dishes to provide broadband to areas where internet has been knocked out, while Alphabet Inc. is providing laptops for remote education and Meta Platforms Inc. used mobility data to help human rights groups to track refugees.

A spokesperson for the European Commission did not respond to an immediate request for comment. 

“There is an urgent need to boost the supply of equipment for telecommunications and data center infrastructure,” DigitalEurope and eight national digital associations wrote to Commission officials including Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager. “The Commission has the potential to play a much stronger role, to streamline the process and focus the many requests for equipment in a centralized process.”

Tech companies have donated thousands of laptops, servers and cybersecurity software to Ukraine, but they want the EU to better coordinate and possibly fund more donations, especially as Ukraine’s needs become more complicated and expensive, including servicing and rebuilding drones and data center infrastructure. 

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