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FCC approves Amazon’s request to launch a constellation of more than 3,200 Internet satellites

Illustration to an article titled FCC approves Amazons bidding for constellation of more than 3,200 Internet satellites

photo: Charlett Dennis (Getty images)

The Federal Communications Commission gave Amazon this Thursday because of its ambitious A Kuiper project that would set 3236 broadband satellites in orbit to cover Internet coverage down to Earth. With this regulatory moment, Amazon has joined SpaceX in the race to be the first multi-billionaire dollar technology giant to engulf the space internet market.

“We conclude that the release of Kuiper’s application will increase public interest by allowing a system designed to increase the availability of high-speed broadband for consumers, government and business,” said FCC Secretary Marlene Dortch in the order for permission of the agency,,

Amazon says it will launch its low-Earth constellation five-phase satellites, with broadband becoming available after 578 satellites in orbit, according to the documentIn its initial submission to the FCC, Amazon claims that an Calculated 3.8 billion people around the world do not have reliable access to broadband internet, a problem that was brought great relief as students to undervalued communities struggle to attend virtual classes against the backdrop of the covid-19 pandemic. on submission, tThe Kuiper system will use Ka-frequencies to provide “fixed broadband communication services to rural and hard-to-reach areas”, as well as “High-speed mobile broadband services for aircraft, ships and land vehicles.”

IN a blog post on the company regarding FCC approval, Amazon said it plans to invest more than $ 10 billion in project Kuiper do create work places, increase satellite testing and production and establishment other necessary infrastructure.

“We’ve heard so many stories lately about people who can’t do their job or finish school because they don’t have reliable internet at home,” said a senior vice president of Amazon. Dave Limp in a statement“There are still too many places where broadband is unreliable or non-existent. Kuiper will change that. Our $ 10 billion investment will create jobs and infrastructure in the United States, which will help us bridge this gap. “

To preserve his FCC license, Amazon needs to launch its half 3236 satellites by 2026 and the rest of the constellation until 2029 the permit order states. Another important condition is that Amazon must finalize its design plans for the satellites and more importantly – how the company plans to mitigate its contribution to growing space junk this is the low orbit of the Earth. The most The FCC notes that Amazon failed provides specific information on some necessary elements of the waste mitigation plan“When he filed,, although the company claims it plans to deorbit satellites within 355 days, which will fall well within NASA standards if it’s true.

In 2018, FCC OK’d a a similar satellite constellation proposed by SpaceX, known as Starlink. The company plans to send nearly 12,000 satellites into low Earth orbit after the launch ITS the first 60 satellites back hundreds more followed in May,,

The FCC did not mention it possible launch dates for Project Kuiper deployments or what rockets will launch Amazon satellites into orbit. Not coincidentally, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos too owns the aerospace company Blue Origin, whose New Glen orbital the rocket is ready for its debut launch in 2021. Given the potential conflict of interest, this is probably Blue Origin will be among several competitors to be an Amazon launch provider.

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