In a new regulatory filing, SpaceX says it plans to start offering commercial broadband internet service using its Starlink satellite constellation in the northern U.S. and southern Canada by the end of this year.
- Since last May, SpaceX has used seven Falcon 9 rockets to launch 420 of the satellites, which are made at the company’s facility in Redmond, Wash. SpaceX is also continuing to seek, and receive, approvals from the Federal Communications Commission to set up ground stations for uplinking and downlinking data.
- Last week, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet that “private beta” broadband service would begin in about three months, with a public beta due in roughly six months, “starting with high latitudes.” This week, SpaceX’s director of satellite policy, David Goldman, said in a document filed with the FCC that limited service will be offered by the end of this year, with rapid expansion to “near global coverage of the populated world in 2021.”
- Goldman told the FCC that the satellite licensing process should “level the playing field” by having non-U.S. satellite operators pay the same filing fees that U.S. operators pay. He also urged the FCC to ease the restrictions on where gateway earth stations can be placed.