The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given permission to allow aerospace giant Boeing to enter a crowded service market against giants such as SpaceX's Starlink and the planned Kuiper project Amazon.
"As indicated in the FCC filing, Boeing plans to provide broadband and communications services to private, commercial, institutional, government and professional users in the US and worldwide," the FCC said in its license approval statement.
The FCC also rejected SpaceX's claim that the Boeing project would interfere with Starlink Starlink is the name of a satellite network that private space company SpaceX is developing to provide low-cost Internet in remote locations.
“SpaceX provides no rationale on this particular issue to ensure that it moves away from the already existing framework for resolving interference between NGSO (Non-Geostationary Satellite Orbit) systems and accepting special conditions under this grant,” the FCC said. adding that all operators must "coordinate in good faith the use of common frequencies."
SpaceX recently accused Amazon of opposing Starlink's plans, saying Amazon is using “obstructionist tactics to delay a competitor. Amazon noted that SpaceX itself regularly raises concerns about its competitors' currently announced plans, including with regard to interference.
Constellations of broadband satellites are aimed at providing services in rural and other hard-to-reach regions that previously did not have access to the Internet. SpaceX plans to deploy up to 42,000 satellites (it currently has over 1,600), Amazon hopes to have 3,200 after its first launch in 2022, and OneWeb is more than halfway towards its 648 satellite target.
Over the next several years, companies around the world plan to launch tens of thousands of satellites into orbit to provide global high-speed Internet access. But this access comes at a cost, astronomers warn: it pollutes the sky and makes astronomical observations difficult.