Starlink, Elon Musk’s broadband satellite network of 4,425, is approved and should be operational by 2024.
It is now official. The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given Elon Musk the green light to roll out his ambitious and huge global satellite internet network, known as Starlink. It is a SpaceX project with which they seek to put 4,425 satellites into orbit that would provide broadband internet to the whole world.
After three years of planning, a juicy investment by Google and some doubts, Elon Musk submitted a letter to the FCC in November 2016 requesting authorization to launch this great project that would be one of a kind. Well said authorization finally arrived, and Musk must start working as soon as possible, since the FCC set him a deadline.
Must be operational before March 29, 2024
After the FCC reviewed and approved Musk’s application, the commission has granted SpaceX a constellation license under which it will authorizes it to put 4,425 satellites into orbit, which will provide gigabit speed internet with a maximum latency of 25 ms.
Musk’s idea is actually to have 12,000 satellites, but due to restrictions by the FCC, since not all would be in the same orbit and frequency, he was only able to request permission for 4,425. That is, these more than four thousand satellites will be networked, with the same frequency and at the same altitude.
The FCC also requires Musk to at least 50% of the network must be in the assigned orbit and operating before March 29, 2024. If this date passes and Musk does not comply, his license will be withdrawn and he will have to apply for a new permit. That is, you have six years to get on with it.
As we know, a few days ago SpaceX sent the first two satellites of the Starlink network, which are currently in orbit with the aim of conducting tests. The purpose of this broadband network would be, according to Musk, to provide broadband internet connection to all over the world and at affordable prices, where the important thing is that it seeks to connect those rural areas with difficult access, where today it is extremely expensive to install infrastructure.
In this authorization, the FCC also requested SpaceX a detailed space debris mitigation plan, so Musk’s company will have to deliver in the coming years, the details and design of each satellite and what will happen to them once their operational life ends. The goal of this is to avoid more space junk.
Everything may sound very good, but the reality is that there are still doubts and protests from other satellite internet operators. For example, OneWeb expressed its concern to Starlink due to the large number of satellites they plan to deploy, as they fear that this could cause a saturation of the spectrum and especially the orbit, since they will all operate in the same area.
So far there have been no reactions from SpaceX or Elon Musk, so we will have to be pending to follow up on this project and what would be the plan to launch Starlink.
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