SpaceX gets $886 million from US’ FCC for satellite broadband network
The funding could help SpaceX accelerate the Starlink project, which is deemed as game-changer in efforts to bring connectivity to remote areas.
Elon Musk's SpaceX has received $885.5 million as part of the federal subsidies from the US' FCC. The funding is aimed at improving the availability of high-speed internet services in rural areas of the US.
In case you did not know, SpaceX is conducting tests of satellite-based internet services under its Starlink project. The company aims to put a constellation of satellites in space to beam internet access to users, especially in remote areas where internet connectivity is a logistics and cost challenge. SpaceX has launched 900 Starlink satellites into orbit since 2019.
SpaceX had aimed to roll out commercial Starlink internet services later this year, but the company last month said it would continue the beta testing of the service into next year. The commercial launch is expected sometime in 2021.
"At our current pace, we expect to expand our beta in a notable way very early next year, in the late January - February timeframe," SpaceX engineer Kate Tice said during a live stream, before launching the company's 16th batch of Starlink satellites.
As part of the beta test, SpaceX in October invited hundreds of users in rural states in the US to join what the company calls “Better Than Nothing Beta.” Those who signed up get to test SpaceX's $499 setup kit and pay $99 per month for internet service.
Elon Musk has said that Starlink service will be playing a big role in funding the company's bigger ambitions such as building super heavy-lift Starship rocket to fly space tourists to the moon and also colonise Mars in the future.
Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews , also keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.