Starlink submitted a petition to the FCC this week, asking to be listed as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier. In the petition, the company says it currently has over 10,000 users in the US and abroad.
Light Reading first reported on the filing.
The FCC gave SpaceX permission to deploy and operate its system of over 4400 low orbit satellites in 2018 with a goal “bring high-speed, reliable, and affordable broadband service to consumers in the United States and around the world, including areas underserved or currently unserved by existing networks.” Starlink notes that it now has a ground network communicating with over 1,000 satellites in orbit.
“SpaceX is the world’s first high-speed, low-latency satellite internet provider, coordinating the largest fleet of operating satellites to deliver consistent service to the most disconnected areas,” the company wrote in its petition. “The Starlink network has the demonstrated capability to meet Starlink Services public interest obligations to provide Above Baseline, Low-Latency performance broadband to the unserved areas in each state for which it was assigned winning bids in the RDOF auction.”
In order to meet “Above Baseline” and “Low Latency” guidelines, the network is:
- Meeting and exceeding 100/20 megabits per second (“Mbps”) throughput to individual users.
- Demonstrating performance of 95% of network round-trip latency measurements at or below 31 milliseconds.
- Successfully testing standalone voice service over the Starlink network.
Future plans outlined in the filing include deploying more satellites monthly, creating a standalone voice service that has been successfully tested, and providing emergency services including 911. With ETC designation, Starlink says it would be able to accelerate the production of satellites, extend coverage to less densely populated areas, and focus on voice services.