Amazon’s Home Internet Service Is Facing Legal Challenges from SpaceX




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Man on laptop in coffee shopRecently Amazon asked the FCC for waivers so it can launch a home Internet service from space. Amazon wants to launch over 3,000 satellites into low earth orbit to beam down Internet from space. Now SpaceX is lobbying the FCC against Amazon’s request for waivers complaining that rules Amazon is asking to not follow are rules SpaceX had to follow.

SpaceX is upset that Amazon is asking for permission to operate within a certain frequency spectrum. The problem here is the FCC already granted permission to other companies to use that spectrum. SpaceX was forced to use a different spectrum and is now asking the FCC to force Amazon to face the same limitations SpaceX and OneWeb, which is also launching a home Internet service, are facing.

According to Vice SpaceX officials met with the FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and other agency staff at least three times to file complaints about the Amazon application.

“Amazon’s overt attempt to override long-standing rules would undermine confidence in Commission processes, harm competition, and eliminate broadband options for consumers,” SpaceX lawyers said in an FCC filing. According to SpaceX, Amazon’s Project Kuiper would have a “significant detrimental impact [on] SpaceX.”

SpaceX is hoping to have its home Internet service live in the summer of 2020. Amazon has yet to launch their first satellites. Even if Amazon gets approval, SpaceX has a huge head start.

SpaceX is also worried about Amazon launching their 3,236 satellites into the same orbit as SpaceX satellites. Right now, SpaceX and OneWeb are working on a deal to make sure the two companies work together on the launch of the new satellites. They worry Amazon would interfere with their plans.

The FCC has not announced when it will vote on Amazon’s application to launch its home Internet service. SpaceX received FCC approval in the first half of 2019. Once Amazon receives approval, the company will likely quickly start putting satellites into space.

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