International Institute of Communications

Shaping the policy agenda: TELECOMMUNICATIONS • MEDIA • TECHNOLOGY
Tel:+44 (0)20 8544 8076
Fax:+44 (0)20 8544 8077

social twitter sm  social linkedin sm  social youtube sm  social facebook sm

FCC approves satellite broadband launch

Joint IIC - Italian Chapter and Agcom workshop

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved a plan by Elon Musk’s SpaceX to build a global broadband network using satellites, reports Reuters. “This is the first approval of a US-licensed satellite constellation to provide broadband services using a new generation of low-Earth orbit satellite technologies,” the FCC said in a statement. The system proposed by privately held SpaceX, as Space Exploration Holdings is known, will use 4,425 satellites. FCC chairman Ajit Pai in February had endorsed the SpaceX effort, saying: “Satellite technology can help reach Americans who live in rural or hard-to-serve places where fibre optic cables and cell towers do not reach.” The FCC said SpaceX has been granted authority to use frequencies in the Ka (20/30 GHz) and Ku (11/14 GHz) bands. SpaceX wants to create a “global communications system” that Musk has compared to “rebuilding the internet in space”. It would be faster than traditional internet connections, he said. “This is an important step toward SpaceX building a next-generation satellite network that can link the globe with reliable and affordable broadband service, especially reaching those who are not yet connected,” SpaceX chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell said. Over the past year, the FCC has approved requests by OneWeb, Space Norway and Telesat to access the US market to provide broadband services using satellite technology. FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the agency needs “to prepare for the proliferation of satellites in our higher altitudes”. She highlighted the issue of orbital debris and said the FCC “must coordinate more closely with other federal actors to figure out what our national policies are for this jumble of new space activity”. Read more

  • Thursday, 26 April 2018

Stay up to date with the IIC

Tell us how you'd like to stay informed about events, interviews and more from the IIC. 

My IIC Preferences

Follow us on Twitter