SpaceX Gets FCC Approval for One Million Satellite Terminals

The FCC has granted SpaceX a license for up to a million terminals that will allow Starlink satellites to deliver broadband service. The decision was shown in a 71 page public notice from the FCC on March 18.

The notice states: Consistent with SpaceX’s space station authorization, these Earth stations will transmit in the 14.0-14.5 GHz band and receive in the 10.7-12.7 GHz band. The Commission’s rules specifically contemplate blanket licensing for earth stations operating in these frequency bands.

“Granting this application would serve the public interest by helping to speed broadband deployment throughout the United States by authorizing the ground-based component of SpaceX’s satellite system,” says the FCC. “US and worldwide demand for broadband services and Internet connectivity continues to increase with escalating requirements for speed, capacity, and reliability and ongoing adaptations for usage. The volume of traffic flowing over the world’s networks has exploded, with one report estimating that annual global Internet protocol traffic reached 1.5 zettabytes in 2017 – meaning that approximately 1,500 billion gigabytes of data were exchanged worldwide last year.”

GeekWire reports that Starlink satellites are being made at the SpaceX facilities in Washington, at a rate of 6 per day. 360 satellites have been launched, with many more to come.

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