Friday, May 5, 2017

SpaceX Tells Congress They Can Bring Out-of-This World Coverage

While wireless broadband providers race to close the digital divide and service more hard-to-reach areas, they may face a new competitor — satellite-delivered broadband internet. Launch services provider SpaceX plans to deploy more than 4,000 non-geostationary satellites in a low orbit within five years to deliver affordable broadband service; the company, founded in 2002, by entrepreneur Elon Musk who remains CEO, hopes to begin testing a satellite by the end of the year and launching a prototype next year.

“Satellites will substantially alter access and competition,” SpaceX VP of Satellite Government Affairs Patricia Cooper told members of the Senate Commerce Committee at a broadband infrastructure hearing this week. “Our plan is to build fiber-like services at much lower cost.” The incremental cost of adding a rural customer to a satellite network is much lower than adding that rural customer to a ground-based cellular network, she testified. Continue Reading

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