business

SpaceX awarded about 886 mln USD for satellite internet network

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) — Elon Musk’s SpaceX was awarded 885.5-million-U.S.-dollar subsidies on Monday by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to support the company’s Starlink satellite internet network.

SpaceX won the funds in the commission’s 9.2-billion-dollar “Phase I auction,” which is set to provide high-speed broadband internet service to 5.22 million unserved homes and businesses. The commission estimated that the funding will expand broadband to more than 10 million rural Americans.

“Phase I auction” is part of the commission’s 20.4-billion-U.S.-dollar Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which will be distributed over the next 10 years to encourage broadband providers to bring internet service to hard-to-reach areas in the United States.

The auction “brings welcome news to millions of unconnected rural Americans who for too long have been on the wrong side of the digital divide,” Ajit Pai, director of the commission, said Monday in a release of the auction results, which include 180 winners.

SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet constellation will consist of thousands of mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit, working in combination with ground transceivers, which would help bring internet access to remote or rural areas. So far, the company has launched nearly 1,000 satellites as part of its Starlink plan.

According to the company, it has approval to launch some 12,000 satellites, and as the number increases, the reliability and speed of its service will also improve.

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