Starlink Bags FCC Approval to Provide Internet on Vessels & Aircrafts

Starlink Bags FCC Approval to Provide Internet on Vessels & Aircrafts

The FCC grant will prove significant in bridging the Internet speed gap on Earth Stations in Motion

The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted Elon Musk’s SpaceX permission to provide Starlink high-speed Ku-band satellite connectivity to users in vessels, land vehicles and aircrafts, for the first time.

This move is expected to witness SpaceX offering its broadband services to cruise and cargo ships.

Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX, providing satellite Internet access coverage to 36 countries. It aims for global coverage. SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, started launching Starlink satellites in 2019.

"We grant, subject to the conditions and limits set forth below, the applications of SpaceX Services, Inc. to operate consumer and enterprise Ku-band ESIM and of Kepler Communications Inc. to operate unlimited Ku-band Earth Stations on Vessels (ESVs)," the FCC stated.

The permission from FCC involves operation in the territorial waters of the United States and aboard US-registered vessels throughout international waters worldwide. The FCC grant will prove significant in bridging the Internet speed gap on ESIM (Earth Stations in Motion).

Both SpaceX and Kepler propose to use the 14.0-14.5 GHz band to transmit (Earth-to-space), and the 10.7-12.7 GHz band, including 12.2-12.7 GHz (generally known as the 12 GHz band), to receive (space-to-Earth).

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"We agree with SpaceX and Kepler that the public interest would benefit by granting with conditions their applications. "

"Authorizing a new class of terminals for SpaceX’s satellite system will expand the range of broadband capabilities to meet the growing user demands that now require connectivity while on the move."

Whether driving an RV across the country, moving a freighter from Europe to a U.S. port, or while on a domestic or international flight," the FCC added. “We agree with SpaceX and Kepler that the public interest would benefit by granting with conditions their applications."

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