Internet in space
US FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says he will ask the commission to approve SpaceX's plan to deploy satellites to deliver broadband around the world. He believes the orbiting birds might help those Americans living in hard-to-serve places without fibre and mobile communications.
What does this mean?
Elon Musk’s SpaceX is this week planning to launch two of its own satellites to test broadband online services. A successful Internet business could help it support – at least in part – the company’s headline moonshot project to… Mars.
And the competition?
Facebook’s efforts in this area include the drone-based Aquila offering – last summer the aircraft successfully completed its second test flight in Arizona after an earlier effort ended in a crash landing.
The FCC last year gave Alphabet's Project Loon broadband balloons the green light to offer broadband services in Puerto Rico to provide emergency cellular service in the territory following last year’s devastating hurricane. Project Loon uses balloons that reach around 65,000 feet above sea level, from where they beam LTE signals back to Earth. The solar-powered balloons can stay aloft at 65,000 feet for up to 100 days.