SpaceX recently announces that it plans to deliver its Starlink services to at least five million customers in the United States.
SpaceX originally planned to deliver its Starlink services to one million customers. However, the tech giant recently asked the FCC for a license expansion after a huge show of interest. The company claims that 700,000 people showed interest during its early registration.
The Federal Communications Commission gave SpaceX a license to support up to one million users terminals back in March. These terminals will act as receivers, which will allow up to one million households to access Starlink services. Recently, the tech giant is asking to increase that threshold to five million terminals.
A positive response from potential users
In its request to the FCC, the company said:
“SpaceX Services requests this increase in authorized units due to the extraordinary demand for access to the Starlink non-geostationary orbit satellite system.”
The company added that more than 700,000 individual reservations were made in all 50 states. This is despite the fact that the company has yet to advertise how much its services will cost once operational. In order to properly accommodate this potential demand, the company is asking the FCC to add more terminals.
SpaceX tells the FCC that Starlink has seen "extraordinary demand" from potential customers, with "nearly 700,000 individuals" across the United States indicating interest in the company's coming satellite internet service: https://t.co/IGjp5OczRW pic.twitter.com/CslPoNTNcO
— Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) August 1, 2020
The signup page on the Starlink website was added in June. Since then, the website is reportedly inundated with registration since there are only limited slots available. The company claims that it will launch the project in beta this fall in preparation for the full commercial release.
Starlink services aimed at rural areas
Starlink services are originally aimed to work better in rural areas. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that Starlink terminals are not designed to handle huge bandwidth. Due to that reason, the service will not fare well in densely populated urban areas like Los Angeles.
One of the biggest goals of Starlink is to deliver a high-speed connection to hard-to-reach areas. These areas are less populated, which means that Starlink terminals will work within their limits.
Low-Earth orbit satellites are getting a lot of attention lately. A lot of tech companies are joining the race to provide fast internet connection from space. Recently, Amazon received government approval to launch 3,236 of its own satellites into low-Earth orbit.
The FCC has granted SpaceX approval to launch 12,000 Starlink satellites, provided they are in low-Earth orbits. As of this writing, the tech giant has already sent 540 satellites into orbit. The company aims to send an additional 600 satellites on its next launch.
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