SpaceX to launch prototype Starlink satellites for global internet — GeekWire


Today, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai proposed approving SpaceX's application "to provide broadband services using satellite technologies in the United States and on a global basis", a commission announcement said. The SpaceX mission includes more 4000 satellites that would create a network having ability of transmission at anywhere.

SpaceX's application has undergone "careful review" by the FCC's satellite engineering experts, according to Pai.

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

SpaceX, which filed an application in late 2016 for a "space-based broadband business", will need the blessing of the federal government in order to make that dream a reality. Thank you to cageymaru for the story. "If adopted, it would be the first approval given to an American-based company to provide broadband services using a new generation of low-Earth orbit satellite technologies", Pai said.

SpaceX hasn't commented on the news.

SpaceX previously sought approval from the agency to launch 4,425 satellites to deliver broadband to users in the USA and worldwide.

The two satellites, known as Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b, are set to launch as the so-called secondary payload on Saturday's Falcon 9 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, according to a letter dated February 1 to the FCC from a SpaceX executive.

Pai's support puts SpaceX on track to become the first US-based company the FCC has approved to supply a new generation of satellite-powered broadband.

The chairman's proposal comes as SpaceX prepares to send two demonstration satellites into orbit on Saturday, Feb. 17, as part of the initial broadband testing phase for its Starlink service.

SpaceX's satellite operation is headquartered in Redmond, Wash.

If SpaceX gets FCC approval, there are still other hurdles to clear, since operating a worldwide service will also require the blessing of a completely separate regulatory body, the International Telecommunications Union. That low-orbit position could deliver broadband speeds equal to current speeds from traditional providers, the company says.

OneWeb's first 10 satellites launch in May on an Arianespace Soyuz, and unlike its competitors, will be operational spacecraft, not demos. The investments have the potential to expand the number of internet users with access to their services.