SpaceX on Track to Receive FCC Approval for Satellite Broadband Service

SpaceX Starlink

SpaceX is one of several companies planning low-Earth orbit satellite broadband networks that could offer much higher speeds and much lower latency than existing satellite Internet services. That low-orbit position could deliver broadband speeds equal to current speeds from traditional providers, the company says.

But in February 2018, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai proposed the approval of an application by SpaceX to provide the broadband services using satellites in the United States and worldwide.

The FCC's move comes as USA politicians call for improved Internet service in rural areas. The service could be especially useful for those living in rural areas where broadband access is now limited and allegedly can provide "fiber-like speeds". This is meant to generate a significant amount of revenue, and help fund a city on Mars.

Pai's proposal requires a vote of the commissioners and it's likely he will get a thumbs-up, as there are two other Republicans on the commission.

The constellation is meant to provide broadband internet service at "fiber-like speeds", especially for individual households and small businesses, according to testimony from Patricia Cooper, SpaceX vice president of government affairs, during an October Senate committee hearing.

The approvals are the first of their kind, the FCC said, for 'a new generation of large, non-geostationary satellite orbit, fixed-satellite service systems.' It said it is also processing similar requests. SpaceX would be the fourth company to receive such an approval from the FCC, after OneWeb, Space Norway, and Telesat.

SpaceX to Send Spain's Spy Satellite to Space.

The USAF is looking to make use of the Falcon Heavy to launch its Space Test Program 2 mission (STP-2), reports Bloomberg. The aerospace company, owned by Tesla Inc.

"To bridge America's digital divide, we'll have to use innovative technologies", Pai said in a statement Wednesday.

OneWeb's first 10 satellites launch in May on an Arianespace Soyuz, and unlike its competitors, will be operational spacecraft, not demos.

"They will multiply the number of satellites in the skies, creating extraordinary new opportunities ... the FCC should move quickly to facilitate these new services while underscoring our commitment to space safety", she said.

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