News Update

FCC authorizes Elon Musk’s Starlink internet service for planes, trucks, boats

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been pushing for more than a year to get the OK from the Federal Communications Commission to provide mobile Starlink internet service to boats, planes and automobiles. The company got its wish this week when the FCC authorized the use of the technology on moving vehicles.

SpaceX first asked the FCC for a “blanket license authorizing operation” for its Starlink internet terminals on “Earth Stations in Motion” on March 5, 2021, according to The Verge. These ESIMs include trucks, RVs, boats and aircraft.

The company told the government, “No longer are users willing to forego connectivity while on the move, whether driving a truck across the country, moving a freighter from Europe to a U.S. port, or while on a domestic or international flight.”

The request did not cover passenger cars, Elon Musk noted shortly after the initial filing, tweeting, “Not connecting Tesla cars to Starlink, as our terminal is much too big. This is for aircraft, ships, large trucks & RVs.”

On Thursday, the FCC announced it had approved the blanket license for Starlink internet terminals on ESIMs.

FCC international bureau chief Tom Sullivan said, “Authorizing a new class of [customer] terminals for SpaceX’s satellite system will expand the range of broadband capabilities to meet the growing user demands that now require connectivity while on the move.”

SpaceX’s Starlink network is made up of about 2,700 satellites that sit in low Earth orbit and can deliver high-speed internet around the world, CNBC noted. As of May, SpaceX said its service, which costs $110 per month and has seen a boom among rural users, has more than 400,000 subscribers.

The authorization was a needed step for SpaceX’s already signed deals with Hawaiian Airlines and semi-private charter airline JSX to provide in-flight wireless internet service. Hawaiian Airlines said it will provide internet for free to customers, according to CNBC.

And last month, Royal Caribbean became the first cruise line operator in the world to request Starlink internet for its ships, PC Mag reported. The company told the FCC in a filing that it viewed the Starlink network as the “true next generation solution for our vessels that meets the rigorous technical and operational requirements commensurate with our growth plans.”

Musk’s company has not been focused on only rural U.S. users and travelers: The company made headlines when it quickly provided internet for the people and military of Ukraine following the Russian invasion.

MAHMOUD BENNETT: ELON MUSK’S SATELLITE INTERNET SYSTEM CAN NOW BEAM HIGH SPEED INTERNET INTO MOVING VEHICLES

THE FCC GRANTING SPACE X APPROVAL TO EXPAND ITS STARLINK SERVICE TO PLANES, SHIPS AND TRUCKS

THAT GREEN LIGHT COULD MEAN A MASSIVE EXPANSION IN RELIABLE INTERNET ACCESS ON THE GO – HERE’S WHY

SPACEX CURRENTLY HAS MORE THAN 2400 WORKING STARLINK SATELLITES IN ORBIT – SERVING NEARLY HALF A MILLION CUSTOMERS

THE SYSTEM USES A CONSTELLATION OF SATELLITES IN ORBIT WHICH BEAM TO TERMINALS ON THE GROUND – IT’S DESIGNED TO REACH REMOTE LOCATIONS WITH BAD OR UNRELIABLE INTERNET CONNECTIONS

THE SERVICE IS ONLY AVAILABLE IN SOME REGIONS OF THE WORLD

AND WHILE CRITICS SAY THESE FLOATING SATELLITES POSE A THREAT TO ASTRONOMY – SPACEX IS PUSHING THEIR GOAL TO GO GLOBAL – SIGNING THEIR FIRST DEAL WITH A MAJOR U.S. AIRLINE TO OFFER FREE WIFI IN FLIGHT

U.S. APPROVAL OPENS UP THE DOOR FOR SPACE-X TO PURSUE MORE PARTNERSHIPS WITH PRIVATE COMPANIES.

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been pushing for more than a year to get the OK from the Federal Communications Commission to provide mobile Starlink internet service to boats, planes and automobiles. The company got its wish this week when the FCC authorized the use of the technology on moving vehicles.

SpaceX first asked the FCC for a “blanket license authorizing operation” for its Starlink internet terminals on “Earth Stations in Motion” on March 5, 2021, according to The Verge. These ESIMs include trucks, RVs, boats and aircraft.

The company told the government, “No longer are users willing to forego connectivity while on the move, whether driving a truck across the country, moving a freighter from Europe to a U.S. port, or while on a domestic or international flight.”

The request did not cover passenger cars, Elon Musk noted shortly after the initial filing, tweeting, “Not connecting Tesla cars to Starlink, as our terminal is much too big. This is for aircraft, ships, large trucks & RVs.”

On Thursday, the FCC announced it had approved the blanket license for Starlink internet terminals on ESIMs.

FCC international bureau chief Tom Sullivan said, “Authorizing a new class of [customer] terminals for SpaceX’s satellite system will expand the range of broadband capabilities to meet the growing user demands that now require connectivity while on the move.”

SpaceX’s Starlink network is made up of about 2,700 satellites that sit in low Earth orbit and can deliver high-speed internet around the world, CNBC noted. As of May, SpaceX said its service, which costs $110 per month and has seen a boom among rural users, has more than 400,000 subscribers.

The authorization was a needed step for SpaceX’s already signed deals with Hawaiian Airlines and semi-private charter airline JSX to provide in-flight wireless internet service. Hawaiian Airlines said it will provide internet for free to customers, according to CNBC.

And last month, Royal Caribbean became the first cruise line operator in the world to request Starlink internet for its ships, PC Mag reported. The company told the FCC in a filing that it viewed the Starlink network as the “true next generation solution for our vessels that meets the rigorous technical and operational requirements commensurate with our growth plans.”

Musk’s company has not been focused on only rural U.S. users and travelers: The company made headlines when it quickly provided internet for the people and military of Ukraine following the Russian invasion.

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