Elon Musk’s SpaceX was given permission by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to utilize its Starlink satellite internet network to increase the availability of broadband to commercial aircraft, ships, and automobiles. According to Reuters.com, Starlink is a network of internet-beaming satellites in low-Earth orbit that were first designed to serve people in remote areas with little access to the internet.
However, the firm has been preparing to expand to the automobile, shipping, and aviation industries. Since 2019, SpaceX has launched close to 2,700 Starlink satellites. According to an FCC spokeswoman who spoke to Reuters, “approving a new class of terminals for SpaceX’s satellite system would broaden the range of broadband capabilities to suit the expanding customer needs that now necessitate access while on the go.”
After operating under an experimental FCC license to test the Starlink service on Gulfstream jets and U.S. military aircraft, SpaceX previously agreed to deliver in-flight Wi-Fi with Hawaiian Airlines and semi-private jet service JSX.
Jonathan Hofeller, the director of commercial sales at Starlink, said, “We’re obsessed with the passenger experience. We’ll be boarding flights in a moment, so perhaps the experience will impress the passengers.
In order to provide Starlink Wi-Fi connectivity to its ships, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line stated in June that it will investigate teaming with SpaceX. The proposed alliance was mentioned by RCCL in a public filing with the FCC.
The decision did not settle a larger SpaceX regulatory fight with Dish Network and RS Access, a company founded by billionaire Michael Dell, over the use of the 12-gigahertz band, a frequency spectrum utilized for internet communications. SpaceX is urging the FCC to provide a decision while it continues to investigate whether the spectrum can accommodate both ground-based and space-based services.