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FCC approves SpaceX’s satellite-internet plan

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 30 March 2018, 14:00 IST

The world’s most powerful rocket A.K.A Elon Musk’s SpaceX has won an endorsement from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to provide internet services from the ‘space’.

The action, approved in a 5-0 vote by FCC commissioners grants SpaceX to provide internet service using a constellation of 4,425 satellites orbiting planet Earth.  

“Satellite technology can help reach Americans who live in rural or hard-to-serve areas where fibre optic cables or cellphone towers do not reach,” said FCC chairman Ajit Pai in a statement.

Further to this, FCC  said that it was the first approval of a “US-licensed satellite constellation that uses a new generation of low-Earth orbit satellite technologies.”

The move comes in after US politicians called for improved internet services in rural areas of the United States of America. It must be noted that Donald Trump’s infrastructural proposal lists broadband services eligible for funding, alongside traditional projects like roads and bridges.

Point to be noted: Satellite internet already exists. But the services come from satellites orbiting about 22,000 miles above the Earth. This makes it laggy and slow. Whereas Musk’s plan involves launching satellites into the ‘lower than 1,000 miles orbit’ to provide fast and ‘enough’ coverage.

In a letter, dated Feb 1, to FCC SpaceX conveyed that it plans to launch a pair of experimental satellites on one of its Falcon 9 rockets. The launch, already approved by FCC, is set for 30th March in California.

Additionally, the company launched SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy from Florida on February 6, 2017. The 23-storey-tall jumbo jet carried a Tesla Inc Roadster from the assembly line of Elon Musk’s electric automotive company.

In a speech in 2015, Seattle, Musk said that SpaceX planned to launch a satellite-internet business that would help fund a future city on Mars. 

Yes, it has got us thinking too what, or rather, who all were in that Tesla that left Earth on February 6. 

Also read: Tesla recalls 123,000 Model S sedans over power- steering issue

First published: 30 March 2018, 14:00 IST