SpaceX Plan for Broadband Via Satellite Backed by FCC Chairman

SpaceX Plan for Broadband Via Satellite Backed by FCC Chairman

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is backing a proposal from Elon Musk's SpaceX to provide broadband using satellites. The company separately filed for authority to operate in the V-Band, where it has proposed an additional constellation of 7,500 satellites even closer to Earth, for its Very Low Earth Orbit system.

If approved I have to wonder how ling it will take to deploy 4,425 satellites.

In a statement released just days before SpaceX launches its first two prototype satellites, Pai urged support of the company's application within the FCC, saying Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX can help reach rural and isolated parts of the country with high-speed Internet. Thank you to cageymaru for the story. It would be faster than traditional internet connections, he said. It could eventually consist of as many as 4,425 satellites and cost at least $10 billion, Forbes reported in November.

SpaceX's customers include commercial satellite operators, the US space agency NASA and the USA military. The aerospace company, owned by Tesla Inc. He also co-founded Neuralink, which is developing technology to connect human brains with computers, and OpenAI, a nonprofit advocating for the responsible development of artificial intelligence.

According to the FCC, if the proposal is approved, it would be the first time an American company has been given permission to use low-Earth orbit satellites for providing broadband. One SpaceX filing this month mentions that a secondary payload on Saturday's Falcon 9 launch will include "two experimental non-geostationary orbit satellites, Microsat-2a and -2b".

"Following review of this application by our International Bureau's satellite engineering experts, I have asked my colleagues to join me in supporting this application and moving to unleash the power of satellite constellations to provide high-speed Internet to rural Americans", Ajit Pai said.

Satellites will play a critical role in Musk's efforts to reach his ultimate role of establishing a human settlement on Mars.

"We're going to try to do for satellites what we've done for rockets" said Musk during an interview with Bloomberg TV in January 2015. But if you want get into the broadband business, first you have to get past its USA gatekeepers: the FCC. SpaceX would be the fourth company to receive such an approval from the FCC, after OneWeb, Space Norway, and Telesat.

The FCC a year ago gave OneWeb access to the USA market using a proposed fleet of 720 satellites, and granted Telesat access to the US market via 117 satellites already authorized by Canada.

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".

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