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SpaceX gets the green light to move forward with Starlink satellite Internet network

By Shawn Knight · 9 replies
Nov 15, 2018
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  1. The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday approved the requests of SpaceX and three other companies to launch satellite systems and expand on existing services.

    Space earlier this year was granted permission to launch two broadband Internet test satellites into orbit. One week later, the company did just that, sending the Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b Internet-beaming satellite prototypes into space alongside Spain's Paz Earth-observing satellite.

    The test units were designed to gather information about the viability and technology needed to launch a global network of Internet-serving satellites that could blanket the entire globe.

    The FCC today authorized SpaceX to construct, deploy and operate a very-low-Earth orbit constellation of more than 7,000 satellites using V-band frequencies. The Commission also granted Elon Musk’s request to add the 37.5GHz - 42.0GHz and 47.2GHz - 50.2GHz frequency bands to its previously authorized non-geostationary satellite orbit.

    SpaceX’s Project Starlink could have as many as 40 million subscribers by 2025 generating in excess of $30 billion in annual revenue.

    The FCC also approved access to the US market for satellites from Kepler, Telesat and LeoSat.

    Additionally, the Commission proposed to further simplify and streamline its rules governing satellite communications in an effort to make the regulatory approval process for satellite licensing more efficient and less burdensome.

    Permalink to story.

  2. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 715   +339

    I am trying to understand, people who don't have internet access are poor people. The places where no other company wants to provide internet services are the places where people cant afford to pay. So what, are they going to press the governments of those poor countries themselves to pay for the internet for their countrymen?
    Like how are they going to make money when those countries are the poorest countries. Or are they gonna predict which countries will develop soonest and will make sure they are first there to offer affordable internet?
    Robinson Ochoa likes this.
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,877


    It wouldn't surprise me if we are forced to foot the bill for the less developed countries to have better Internet than we have.
  4. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TechSpot Staff Posts: 636   +614

    The main problem is that lots of these countries (or continents, in Africa's case) are huge, so laying down the physical infrastructure is prohibitively expensive. Sending satellites up that can quite cheaply service large geographical areas might work out cheaper than digging for millions of miles of cabling. It's the same reason Facebook was looking into internet enabled drones, and Google has 'Project Loon', their internet enabled 'airships'. Companies want to provide access to these poor parts, desperately.

    As for the point about these countries being poor and therefore the business model not being viable, as SpaceX wouldn't be able to charge much, I don't think that's a particularly solid point, not least because companies like Facebook exist that charge users nothing but are valued in the hundreds of billions. If SpaceX can provide the internet capabilities, but serve ads to the 2+ billion people it's targeting, I'm pretty sure they'd make a small fortune.
    UaPro likes this.
  5. mosu

    mosu TS Evangelist Posts: 496   +104

    Here is the answer to all your questions: Are you sure those satellites are only intended for internet infrastructure?
    UaPro, Berty Boy and cliffordcooley like this.
  6. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TechSpot Staff Posts: 636   +614

    That's a question, not an answer. Silly bean.
    Jeff Re likes this.
  7. Steveb8189

    Steveb8189 TS Booster Posts: 31   +27

    "40 million subscribers by 2025 generating in excess of $30 billion in annual revenue." So $750 per subscriber per year - hardly for the poor
    JaredTheDragon and UaPro like this.
  8. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,142   +3,563

    From the financial point of view it would make far more sense to start selling to those that have access as a competitive choice to cable, then reach out to the others with no or limited access. There are literally hundreds of small towns in the US alone that have one, if any choice on internet carriers. Bringing in more competition will benefit everyone, especially in markets where some of the slugs of the internet world are dominating (apologies to COMCAST if they were the first one that came to everyone's mind)!
    Robinson Ochoa likes this.
  9. BobHome

    BobHome TS Enthusiast Posts: 48   +20

    It partly could depend on how much of that $750 would come from the end user and how much from ads.
    Robinson Ochoa likes this.
  10. Chaiwallah

    Chaiwallah TS Rookie

    Why does everyone seem to assume that the government and industries are being forthright when they are touting their agendas and the "advantages" of their new technologies? 5G, anyone? Smartdust? Micro-and nanochip implants? GMOs? Chemtrails? . . .
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018

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