The FCC Wants to Speed Up The Roll Out of Internet From Low Earth Orbit




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Today the FCC Chairman released a letter in support of low Earth orbit satellites to do a wide range of tasks including internet services. Companies like SpaceX and Amazon have been working to create networks of small low Earth orbit satellites to bring internet services worldwide.

One of the main concerns about offering internet or any service from space has been the long legal process to get it approved. Now the FCC’s Chairman Ajit Pai has a plan.

“To fix this regulatory mismatch, the FCC adopted a new, separate, streamlined licensing procedure for small satellites,” Pai said. “It enables small-satellite applicants to choose a streamlined alternative to existing licensing procedures which features, among other things, an easier application process, a lower application fee, and a shorter timeline for review. It also offers potential radiofrequency interference protection for critical communication links.”

Ajit Pai went on to say, “To this point, I’ve talked about all the ways the Commission is making it easier to put new satellites in orbit. However, this does raise a legitimate risk of increased orbital debris. In space, even a centimeter-wide object can wreak devastating damage. If you want a graphic illustration of the problem, just re-watch the movie Gravity. That’s why, under my leadership, the Commission is currently undertaking its first comprehensive review of our orbital debris rules since their adoption in 2004. Our aim is to improve and clarify these rules based on improvements in mitigation practices and also address recent market developments.”

Companies like OneWeb and SpaceX have already received permission to launch satellites into space to offer internet from low Earth orbit. Now it sounds like the FCC wants to make sure others can quickly get the same rights to offer internet from space.

You can read the full letter from the FCC Chairman Ajit Pai HERE.

What do you think of the FCC’s plans to speed up the rollout of internet from space? Leave us a comment and let us know.

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