SpaceX competitors team up to try to block its satellite constellation


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SpaceX’s main competitors in creating a satellite broadband industry have all filed objections with the FCC to the company’s planned 4,425 satellite constellation that is aimed at providing worldwide internet access.

SpaceX’s plan to provide global broadband internet access using thousands of satellites in low-earth orbit has come under fire from competitors, including Boeing and OneWeb, according to Space Intel Report. The argument is playing out in a series of filings with the Federal Communications Commission, focusing on SpaceX’s request for a temporary waiver from the FCC’s time limits for putting the satellite system into full operation.

The FCC would typically require the system to provide full coverage of U.S. territory within six years of a license being issued, but SpaceX says that’s not enough time to deploy the full 4,425-satellite constellation. Instead, the company proposes launching the first 1,600 satellites in six years, which would leave the northernmost part of Alaska without coverage when the deadline hits. Full U.S. coverage would be provided after the six-year deadline, SpaceX says.

In their own filings, competitors including OneWeb, SES/O3b and Intelsat are urging the FCC not to waive the six-year requirement, Space Intel Report said.

This is garbage, and demonstrates again why it is dangerous to give government too much power. Rather than compete by launching their own satellite constellations first, these companies want the FCC to put its finger on the scale to favor them and stop SpaceX. And I bet the decision will be made based not on what is right but on who gave the most campaign contributions to the right political party.

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6 comments

  • LocalFluff

    This is exactly what the “space lawyers” are made for. To sit on the loo and do their doo. This is the way to go to space, isn’t it? No! This is simply the way for some to steal from some others by extortion. using the government as their torpedoes to collect what they made up is their part. It’s a disgusting illness all of it.

  • Chris L

    The northern most reaches of Alaska can’t even get cell phone service at the moment, so what’s the big deal?

  • wayne

    LocalFluff–
    I’ll definitely agree it’s stealing.

    “Administrative Statism”

    “The Sherman Act outlawed restraint of trade. The Clayton Act added to that. Anti-Trust hysteria came in the 1940-50s. Whatever you did would be considered monopolistic.
    The charges didn’t come from consumers, they came from whining competitors. It was government-enforced blackmail.”

    The American Economy and the End of Laissez-Faire: 1870 to World War II
    #6 “Tariffs, Inflation, Anti-Trust and Cartels”
    Murray Rothbard
    https://mises.org/library/6-tariffs-inflation-anti-trust-and-cartels

  • wodun

    I bet SpaceX could find a stop gap measure to provide the coverage and meet the requirements. I am not sure if the weather would cooperate but perhaps they could purchase the services of a few giant airships from that google guy.

  • LocalFluff

    I would think that people who choose to move to northern Alaska (I kind of know what it’s like) do so in part in order to get rid of the for them stressful life of being constantly online. With this hateful “logic” Sputnik I would never have been launched, because it couldn’t be seen from all of the globe simultaneously. That’s unfair!

    Just get rid of all of space law. It does no good whatsoever.

  • Cotour

    Related? Its about space or something :

    Interesting TED talk take on the subject of UFO’s: https://youtu.be/urKhVssiygA

    I never knew about this 37th parallel correlation:
    http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-ideas/weird-and-wacky/why-the-37th-parallel-is-the-weirdest-part-of-america/news-story/d5b5dcbafdd0d276f8f6ba44c72a6b00

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