SpaceX has received approval from The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today allowing the aerospace company to provide Starlink satellite internet service on cars, RVs, trucks, boats, and planes while they are in motion.
In their authorization of the service, the FCC said it was granting approval to help meet the demands of today’s consumers who require internet connectivity wherever they are, including when they are on the move.
“Authorizing a new class of [customer] terminals for SpaceX’s satellite system will expand the range of broadband capabilities to meet the growing user demands that now require connectivity while on the move, whether driving an RV across the country, moving a freighter from Europe to a U.S. port, or while on a domestic or international flight,” wrote FCC international bureau chief Tom Sullivan in the authorization posted Thursday. (via CNBC)
The FCC did set some conditions on the mobile Starlink service. SpaceX must “accept any interference received from both current and future services authorized.” The agency also noted that further investment in Starlink will “assume the risk that operations may be subject to additional conditions or requirements” from the FCC.
The approval is an important step for SpaceX, which can now move forward with providing satellite internet service on Hawaiian Airlines and JSX, as well as on Royal Caribbean’s line of cruise ships. With the approval, other companies will likely want to sign up now and provide Starlink on their planes and cruise ships.
SpaceX has already launched a service specifically for customers with recreational vehicles (RVs). The service proved massively popular with over 30,000 orders in the first month alone.
The approval will also put an end to DISH Network’s request for the FCC to crack down on Starlink users who were already using the service in moving vehicles.
However, SpaceX’s battle with DISH over the use of the 12GHz spectrum will continue. SpaceX claims that if DISH is allowed to repurpose the spectrum for their use, it would render Starlink useless for the majority of Americans.