FCC chairman backs SpaceX plan for internet satellites

Elon Musk's plan to deliver internet from space may be one step closer to reality.The head of the Federal Comm...

Posted: Feb 15, 2018 8:43 AM
Updated: Feb 15, 2018 8:43 AM

Elon Musk's plan to deliver internet from space may be one step closer to reality.

The head of the Federal Communications Commission has called for the agency to approve an application from Musk's SpaceX to beam high-speed internet to earth from low orbit satellites.

"Satellite technology can help reach Americans who live in rural or hard-to-serve places where fiber optic cables and cell towers do not reach. And it can offer more competition where terrestrial Internet access is already available," Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman, said in a statement Wednesday.

There were about 24 million Americans without access to high-speed broadband as of the end of last year, according to the FCC.

SpaceX previously sought approval from the agency to launch 4,425 satellites to deliver broadband to users in the U.S. and worldwide. The initial satellite network would be smaller, however.

"SpaceX anticipates that an initial deployment of as few as 800 satellites will be capable of providing high-speed, low-latency broadband throughout the U.S. and anywhere on the planet," SpaceX said in one filing with the FCC.

Related: NASA is keeping tabs on Elon Musk's Tesla roadster

The company said in another filing it plans to include two demonstration satellites with its payload on an upcoming Falcon 9 launch.

SpaceX declined to comment.

Assuming the FCC moves ahead with the chairman's proposal, SpaceX would be the first U.S. company to get the green light for delivering broadband from low orbit satellites. It has previously approved requests from OneWeb, Space Norway and Telesat.

Google and Facebook have also been experimenting with alternative internet delivery options, including satellites, drones and balloons. The investments have the potential to expand the number of internet users with access to their services.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 728811

Reported Deaths: 13405
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion996911740
Lake53548966
Allen40529675
St. Joseph35596550
Hamilton35536408
Elkhart28470441
Tippecanoe22375218
Vanderburgh22293396
Porter18701307
Johnson17923378
Hendricks17199315
Clark12943191
Madison12612339
Vigo12437246
Monroe11873170
LaPorte11856210
Delaware10667186
Howard9895216
Kosciusko9390117
Hancock8260140
Bartholomew8058155
Warrick7777155
Floyd7653178
Wayne7035199
Grant7032174
Boone6687101
Morgan6557139
Dubois6150117
Marshall6016111
Dearborn580077
Cass5794105
Henry5699103
Noble559883
Jackson501172
Shelby490696
Lawrence4522120
Harrison435072
Gibson434792
DeKalb427185
Clinton427053
Montgomery423688
Whitley395239
Huntington390080
Steuben385557
Miami381166
Knox371890
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Putnam359660
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Jefferson329281
White313554
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Decatur284792
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Greene277885
Posey271333
Scott265653
LaGrange265570
Clay259447
Washington240332
Randolph239781
Spencer232131
Jennings229849
Starke215953
Fountain212046
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Owen198756
Fulton194840
Jay193630
Carroll188520
Orange182654
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Tipton162845
Parke146116
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Brown101941
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Martin88615
Warren81815
Switzerland7858
Union71010
Ohio56511
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1082815

Reported Deaths: 19428
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1258081400
Cuyahoga1119722115
Hamilton799721205
Montgomery514061014
Summit47145945
Lucas42119788
Butler38338584
Stark32273906
Lorain24997481
Warren24274298
Mahoning21546588
Lake20653369
Clermont19761238
Delaware18512133
Licking16418212
Fairfield16176199
Trumbull16032468
Medina15268264
Greene15063244
Clark13983299
Wood13080189
Portage12839203
Allen11639232
Richland11349199
Miami10670217
Muskingum8803133
Wayne8793211
Columbiana8778229
Pickaway8564121
Marion8523135
Tuscarawas8473244
Erie7888154
Hancock6914127
Ross6846155
Ashtabula6805170
Geauga6686148
Scioto6406101
Belmont5881167
Union570848
Lawrence5549102
Jefferson5525151
Huron5430119
Darke5355123
Sandusky5347120
Seneca5282121
Athens519158
Washington5155109
Auglaize490784
Mercer480385
Shelby469293
Knox4486110
Madison435661
Putnam4278100
Fulton422469
Ashland421789
Defiance419697
Crawford3975107
Brown394157
Logan381676
Preble379598
Clinton372163
Ottawa366679
Highland355062
Williams339275
Champaign331658
Guernsey315653
Jackson312551
Perry294950
Morrow284939
Fayette281950
Hardin270864
Henry268666
Coshocton265257
Holmes2603101
Van Wert243463
Adams237852
Pike237634
Gallia235349
Wyandot231055
Hocking215362
Carroll191547
Paulding172640
Meigs144840
Noble133337
Monroe132042
Morgan108423
Harrison108137
Vinton83115
Unassigned02
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Rain moves in overnight into Sunday morning and looks to hang around much of the day, likely forcing Mother's Day plans indoors
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