Fcc Approval | Boeing’s 147-Satellite Constellation Approved By The FCC: Starting in 2027, Boeing must begin constructing a new broadband constellation of satellites.
147 satellites launched into orbit by Boeing in a planned broadband constellation.
Fcc Approval | Boeing’s 147-Satellite Constellation Approved By The FCC
On Wednesday (Nov. 3), the Federal Communications Commission approved Boeing’s request for permission, putting the aerospace company in a crowded market with SpaceX’s Starlink and Amazon’s planned Kuiper constellations.
After reviewing Boeing’s application, the FCC found that the company intended to provide broadband and communications services. The services for many customers in the US and abroad, including households, businesses, institutions, governments, and professionals.
The FCC also rejected a claim from SpaceX that the new constellation would interfere with Starlink.
According to the FCC’s documentation, “SpaceX provides no basis on this particular issue to warrant departure from the established framework already in place to address concerns regarding interference between NGSO [non-geostationary satellite orbit] systems and to adopt a special condition on this grant.”
SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites in orbit
Starlink currently uses the Ka- and Ku-bands but moves into the V-band, where Boeing also plans to operate. Ars Technical cited a recent SpaceX-Amazon dispute as an example of competitor objections in mega constellation applications.
SpaceX recently slammed Amazon for opposing Starlink plans, calling it an “obstructionist tactic,” Ars Technical reported. The company’s ‘routinely raises concerns for its competitors’ currently filed plans, including interference’.
The FCC also rejected Boeing’s request to postpone its launch plans beyond the usual deadlines of 2027 and 2030. The FCC said Boeing did not adequately justify its 12-year timeline, which would necessitate a waiver of the usual FCC requirement. It said it is open to further discussion in future applications.
Broadband Satellite Constellations Provide Internet
Broadband satellite constellations are intended to provide Internet access to remote and otherwise difficult-to-reach areas that previously had limited Internet access. SpaceX plans to deploy up to 42,000 satellites (it currently has more than 1,600 operational satellites). And the Amazon expects to have 3,200 satellites after its first launch in 2022, and OneWeb is more than halfway to its goal 648 satellites.
According to astronomers, such mega-constellations will almost certainly have a negative impact on astronomy. It is because the bright machines will leave trails in long-exposure photography, which is required for asteroid hunting or imaging highly faint objects. The companies and scientists continue to consult with one another about possible mitigation measures for the upcoming disaster.