FCC Authorizes SpaceX to Bring Starlink Internet to Planes, Ships, and More

Earlier in June, we brought you the news that SpaceX’s satellite internet service can available soon for passengers aboard Royal Caribbean Group cruise ships. well, tThe Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday gave SpaceX the option to expand its service to trains, ships and other vehicles such as RVs, according to CNN

Achieve lower latency

Hawaiian Airlines signed a deal with SpaceX in April stating it had ambitious plans to bring Starlink services to some of its jets. For the longest time, airlines, ships and trains have relied on satellites located in geosynchronous orbits more than 22,000 miles away.

However, SpaceX’s Starlink has launched thousands of satellites into low Earth orbit, or just a few hundred miles off the ground. The company claims that this approach leads to lower latency.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has previously stated that Starlink internet may be on the way, that tweet “Starlink is working on moving vehicles, including aircraft, but not yet reliably.” Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean Group wrote a letter to the FCC praising Starlink’s services.

John Maya, vice president of operational excellence at Royal Caribbean Group, wrote: “We believe we have found a true next-generation solution for our ships”, adding that “our work with SpaceX, the first of its kind in the cruise industry, will set the standard for other cruise operators and represent a leap in terms of guest experience and business operations at sea.”

In the interest of the public

Meanwhile, the FCC argued in its June 30 authorization letter to Starlink that approval of the new capability is in the public’s best interest. “We agree with SpaceX and Kepler that the public interest would benefit if we allowed their applications conditionally,” the FCC wrote.

“Authorizing a new class of terminals for SpaceX’s satellite system will expand the range of broadband capabilities to meet the growing demand from users who now require connectivity while on the go, whether driving a motorhome across the country or a cargo ship from Europe to a US port or on a domestic or international flight.”

What does this mean for the common people?

It means that connectivity will now always be available. No more turning off your phone when boarding a plane, going on a cruise, or driving abroad. In a recent interview of I.EOff-grid Starlink user Steve Birch said the service Starlink provides is brilliant, but it’s also “a double-edged sword” as he’s now “always reachable.”

You may find that a good or a bad thing, but the fact remains that the option to get hooked up will now be universal. But how much will this connectivity cost? We answer this question and more in our article here

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