The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday granted SpaceX permission to operate its Starlink satellite internet system on moving vehicles, such as automobiles, trucks, boats, and aeroplanes. It’s a huge win for SpaceX’s Starlink system, potentially opening up the service to a wider range of use cases & customers.
Starlink internet reports speeds from 50–200 Mbps statically, but users may experience slower speeds due to network issues. Starlink Business promises 150–500 Mbps speeds and more consistent service. Keeping in mind Starlink’s attempt to expand further, it may be anticipated to have these speeds achievable while moving as well.
Last year in March, SpaceX requested regulatory authority from the FCC to allow Earth Stations in Motion (ESIM) Starlink terminals to be utilised in moving vehicles. Customers must acquire a personal ground-based antenna, or user terminal, to connect with any orbiting Starlink satellites that happen to be overhead in order to access the system and gain broadband internet service. Until now, the dishes had to stay in one place in order to access the system.
It is now possible to connect to broadband-beaming satellites while moving
Now that SpaceX’s request has been approved by the FCC, along with requests from another satellite provider, Kepler Communications, a new category of user terminals that can connect to broadband-beaming satellites while in motion is now possible. While doing so, the FCC decided to reject a Dish Network petition that aimed to stop the firms from using spectrum in the 12GHz range. The FCC has stated that Kepler and SpaceX will be governed by whatever future regulations it establishes, but it will continue to analyse the situation as it moves forward with rulemaking about the use of ESIM devices in the 12GHz band.
The FCC contends that it is in the public’s best interest to approve the additional capacity. In its June 30th authorization, the FCC stated, “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.”
A constellation of thousands of satellites will be launched into low- to medium-Earth orbit as part of SpaceX’s ambitious Starlink project. This will be done to deliver low-latency broadband access to the planet’s surface. The corporation stated that it had 400,000 users lately after exiting beta testing near the end of last year and putting more than 2,400 satellites in space. Customers who wish to get Starlink must pay $599 for the kit. It includes a user terminal, and then an additional $110 every month as a fee.
SpaceX has made it apparent that it intends to use Starlink for purposes other than residential customers
However, SpaceX has made it very clear that it plans to use Starlink for more than simply residential customers. The business has been talking with several airlines about adopting Starlink internet service. And it has agreements with Hawaiian Airlines and private jet operator JSX to start offering internet access on their aircraft over the course of the next few years. For an additional cost, Starlink has now launched a new special service tier for RVs. This service enables customers to connect with Starlink satellites from different places, such as campgrounds or holiday homes, with no designated “home” address. However, at the time of the announcement, customers were unable to utilise the dishes while driving their RVs or vans.