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SpaceX files paperwork with the FCC to begin testing Internet-beaming satellites

By Shawn Knight ยท 11 replies
Jun 10, 2015
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  1. spacex internet

    SpaceX wants to launch 4,000 satellites into orbit that would be used to beam down high-speed Internet from the heavens. CEO Elon Musk said the effort would essentially be like rebuilding the Internet in space.

    The company filed the necessary paperwork with the Federal Communications Commission to begin testing last month. If approved, testing could get under way as early as next year. A commercial service, one that would provide telecoms like AT&T and Comcast with fresh competition, could be ready by 2020.

    The idea of launching a collection of satellites to provide Internet to our blue planet isn’t exactly new as entrepreneurs and business tycoons have dreamed of doing so for decades. Most serious attempts, however, have failed to get off the ground.

    Most recently, Facebook is said to have cancelled its satellite Internet plans due to the massive cost involved (upwards of $1 billion). The social network was reportedly concerned that it wouldn’t be able to recoup its investment.

    Musk believes he’s solved many of the roadblocks that have held others up. Instead of building a single massive satellite, SpaceX wants to launch thousands of smaller satellites that would be more efficient and less expensive to replace. What’s more, the satellites would presumably be able to blanket the entire globe with coverage – something that a single large satellite simply wouldn’t be able to accomplish. Musk also has his own rockets to deploy the satellites.

    The only serious competitor that we’re aware of at this time is Richard Branson’s Virgin which partnered with former Google staffer Greg Wyler and his company OneWeb (which is also backed by Qualcomm) earlier this year.

    Permalink to story.

  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,610   +1,899

    From the heavens? More like from a garbage pit, is what I hear it tends to become quick, with more and more junk orbiting us. The extra 4000 satellites will only further the cause.

    Read this: http://www.space.com/topics/space-junk-orbital-debris-news/

    Current satellite projections:

    Does it look like heaven to you? That doesn't even include the garbage, which is more than that.
  3. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,229   +1,306

    well you can go just go on up there and take em' down yourself if you feel so strongly about it
  4. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,808   +1,211

    The problem with satellite internet for consumers (and even most businesses) is that you can't sell it cheap. The investments are just be too enormous an d until we get practical anti-gravity or fusion rockets that's unlikely to change. Besides, you'd be competing with cable and DSL, both of which are quite affordable. Cellular Internet isn't practical for use with a PC thanks to high cost and draconian data caps but its STILL cheaper than a dish. Finally, the people who could most use a product like satellite Internet are in rural areas where terrestrial broadband isn't available..and they tend to have less disposable income. I have no idea how Musk thinks he'll make this fly.
  5. The image doesn't seem to be up to scale.... Satellites can't be that big when compared to earth
    Kibaruk likes this.
  6. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,610   +1,899

    First good step is to take down all the ignorant ones. The issue is next to the global warming, but surely you can sit this one out too, since you feel nothing about it.
  7. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,365   +278

    Maybe it's simply targeted a extremely wealthy people? But that would limit its number of consumers. This just seems odd :/

    Also with lot of Satellites orbiting the planet. Well I suppose in future we will see bigger sized satellites with more technological capabilities to distribute data, meaning we don't need to use as many. Hell I can see a giant "Radio Towers" being built on the planet, hell even on the Moon in the next few decades.
  8. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,270   +895


    The "image" and the satelite size is like... with 40 more of those it could black out the sun for Earth... don't come with that big-animal-size-feces. Thanks.
    lipe123 likes this.
  9. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,274   +786

    Ofcourse it's upscaled. It's intentionally made that way to make it look more bizzare.
  10. All you nayers can just continue watching your Dish TVs, who obviously are not profitable (and the fact that they've been in business 35 years doesn't mean anything), while the rest of us welcome more competition to the ISP arena.
  11. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 718   +236

    But what about the bad ping, thats always been the #1 issue with satellite Internet.
  12. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,229   +1,306

    I don't see satellites melting ice caps

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