FCC approves Boeing’s request to deploy satellites for broadband Internet access

What happened now? The FCC has finally approved Boeing’s request to build, deploy and operate a constellation of satellites that will be used to provide broadband Internet and communications services to residential, commercial, institutional and government customers in the United States and other countries.

Boeing filed an application with the FCC back in March 2017 for permission to launch 132 satellites in low-earth orbit (LEO) in a circular orbit at an altitude of approximately 656 miles. An additional 15 NGSO satellites will operate from 16,997 miles to 26,235 miles above Earth.

The system will initially provide services to the United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. We were told that once fully deployed, the service will be expanded globally.

FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworth said advanced satellite broadband services play an important role in connecting communities with service challenges. “We are committed to a thorough and detailed review of all such applications, and I thank the International Bureau team for their work in completing this first round of non-GSO applications,” she added.

Satellite internet services have been around for many years, but virtually all of the early offerings were considered an absolute haven due to their low speed, high latency, and dodgy reliability. These new offerings promise to be better in all respects and can be used continuously in regions where traditional means of access are lacking.

With SpaceX, Amazon, and now Boeing ready to enter the satellite Internet market, there will undoubtedly be many more people in LEO and beyond in the coming years. Fortunately, firms such as Privateer Space plan to monitor the situation and help clean up space debris when the need arises.

Image courtesy of Pixnio

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