March 30, 2018

FCC approves SpaceX plan to launch 4,425 broadband satellites

Jon Brodkin—Ars Technica:

The Federal Communications Commission issued an order approving SpaceX’s application with some conditions. SpaceX intends to start launching operational satellites as early as 2019, with the goal of reaching the full capacity of 4,425 satellites in 2024. The FCC approval just requires SpaceX to launch 50 percent of the satellites by March 2024, and all of them by March 2027.

SpaceX has said it will offer speeds of up to a gigabit per second, with latencies between 25ms and 35ms. Those latencies would make SpaceX’s service comparable to cable and fiber, while existing satellite broadband services have latencies of 600ms or more, according to FCC measurements.

This should prove interesting. I’m getting 225 Mbps down, 12 up with 14 ms latency from our Comcast cable broadband setup, as measured by Speedtest using a Comcast server for download/upload. My throughout and latency are slower measured against other servers, but still very fast. We could see lower pricing and an opportunity to switch providers if SpaceX can provide a stabile, faster, and comparably priced alternative.

#SpaceX #Starlink #satelliteInternet

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