SpaceX hopes to equip U.S. school buses with Starlink internet

Electric school bus
Credit: Lion Electric

According to a new filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), SpaceX is hoping to equip school buses in the United States with Starlink internet service.

The filing, which was submitted to the FCC on September 20 by David Goldman, Senior Director, Satellite Policy at SpaceX, reveals the company is already piloting Starlink on buses in rural areas of the country.

According to the filing, SpaceX is focusing the pilot program on bus routes that are longer than 60 minutes each way and are “predominantly inaccessible to other mobile broadband services.”

By installing Starlink on these long bus routes, SpaceX is aiming to turn “ride time to connected time,” something which the company says is critical as many of the students don’t have a stable internet connection at their homes.

“No service is better situated…than Starlink, which can deliver high-speed, low-latency broadband at reasonable costs even in the most remote parts of the country, including Polar Regions of the country, that are too often left behind,” the filing reads. (via Teslarati)

With the letter, Goldman is requesting that the FCC include Starlink as a service that is eligible for funding support from the Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism, otherwise known as the E-Rate program.

To support their inclusion in the program, SpaceX highlights how they have already worked with remote schools and libraries, including some on tribal land, to install Starlink and provide students in these communities with a fast and stable internet connection.

The letter also highlights their new high-performance dish that allows them to provide mobile internet services.

You can read the full letter below.

SpaceX_Comment_E-Rate_09-20-2022
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