Technology FCC chair backs SpaceX plan to provide broadband by satellite

02:15  15 february  2018
02:15  15 february  2018 Source:   The Hill

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Elon Musk's plan to deliver internet from space may be one step closer to reality. Assuming the FCC moves ahead with the chairman 's proposal, SpaceX would be the first U.S. company to get the green light for delivering broadband from low orbit satellites .

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai proposed the approval of an application by SpaceX to provide broadband services using satellites in the United States SpaceX told the FCC in a Feb. 1 letter that it plans to launch a pair of experimental satellites on one of its Falcon 9 rockets.

a man holding a sign© Provided by The Hill Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is backing a proposal from Elon Musk's SpaceX to provide broadband using satellites.

"To bridge America's digital divide, we'll have to use innovative technologies," Pai said in a statement on Wednesday. "Satellite technology can help reach Americans who live in rural or hard-to-serve places where fiber optic cables and cell towers do not reach."

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Pai also said the proposal would increase competition among internet service providers, and he encouraged the agency's commissioners to approve an application from SpaceX to begin the project.

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SpaceX 's Satellite Broadband Plans Gets Key Endorsement From FCC Chair . Elon Musk’s plan to use satellites to beam Internet to Earth just got a key endorsement Wednesday from Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai.

SpaceX 's satellite broadband plans are getting closer to reality. 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.

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.

Other companies like OneWeb, Space Norway and Telesat are also pursuing similar projects, which have been approved by the FCC.

SpaceX is planning to launch several test broadband satellites on Saturday.

At a Senate hearing in May, Patricia Cooper, vice president of satellite government affairs at SpaceX, detailed the company's plan to launch 4,425 operational satellites from 2019 to 2024 to build the broadband network.

Cooper said satellites could help provide broadband access to rural communities.

"The common challenges associated with siting, digging trenches, laying fiber, and dealing with property rights are materially alleviated through a space-based broadband network," she said.

SpaceX's first internet satellites are set to launch Sunday .
Elon Musk's rocket company has been working on getting satellite broadband off the ground for years. Now the Falcon 9 is set to launch the first test.More than three years ago we learned Elon Musk and his rocket company were working on developing satellites to provide low-cost internet access around the world. The first pair of demonstration satellites for the company's Starlink service will finally be launched into orbit aboard a Falcon 9 on Sunday, according to correspondence between the company and the Federal Communications Commission.

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