A new report has revealed that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted SpaceX approval for an extension of its Starlink satellite internet service.
CNN reported that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved SpaceX to bring Starlink Internet to trains, ships and other vehicles such as motor homes and airplanes. Commercial airlines and private jets currently use cell towers and ground-based satellites for Internet connections. However, the distance between the plane and the cell tower or satellite is extreme, sometimes reaching 22,000 miles (satellite). This extreme distance can cause inconsistent connection/speed.
Switching to Starlink would reduce the distance between the plane and the satellite, providing a more stable internet connection thanks to the proximity of the satellites. SpaceX has launched Starlink satellites into lower Earth orbit, just a few hundred miles from the Earth’s surface. Having the satellites closer to the ground gives Starlink a lower latency internet connection, according to SpaceX. Notably, Hawaiian Airlines already signed an agreement with SpaceX in April to implement Starlink services on its selection of jets.
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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has said in the past that Starlink’s internet capabilities aren’t yet 100% for moving vehicles such as cruise ships, planes, or even cars. Musk said the service is “working”, but not yet able to work”reliablyContrary to Musk’s comments, the Royal Caribbean Group praised Starlink and SpaceX, writing to the FCC:
“We believe we have identified a true next generation solution for our vessels. Our work with SpaceX, the first of its kind in the cruise industry, will set the standard for other cruise operators and mean a leap forward in customer experience and business operations at sea,said Royal Caribbean Group Vice President of Operational Excellence John Maya.
The FCC argues in its filing dated June 30 that SpaceX’s request to expand its Starlink services to new vehicle modes and launch more satellites is in the public interest and that the new satellite system generation will expand broadband capabilities.
“With more than double the antenna capacity of Starlink, Starlink Business offers faster internet speeds and higher throughput. $500/month with a one-time hardware cost of $2,500,“wrote SpaceX on its website.
The regulator even says that Starlink and its upcoming mobile internet service will meet consumer demand for a stable internet connection while on the go, whether that move is “driving an RV across the country, moving cargo from Europe to a US port or on a domestic or international flight.“
As the technology matures and new versions of SpaceX’s service roll out to more locations, we can expect the not-too-distant future to be an always-connected world. There will not be “stoppedInternational or domestic flights will no longer be the time to fully disconnect, and the same goes for those long car journeys across the country. There will be endless internet connection, and SpaceX has just received official approval to build it.