Amazon takes on Tesla; to invest $10 billion in satellite broadband plan

Amazon gains FCC approval for Kuiper internet satellite constellation and commits $10 billion to the project

Amazon Gains FCC Approval For $10 Billion Broadband Satellite Project

Kuiper Systems LLC's application, which got unanimous conditional approval from the Federal Communications Commission over competitors' concerns, calls for the satellites to be deployed in five phases, with service beginning once the first 578 satellites are launched.

Dubbed Project Kuiper, the initiative aims to build and launch a constellation of 3,236 of low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites to provide reliable, affordable broadband service to unserved and underserved communities around the world.

"We are doing an incredible amount of invention to deliver fast, reliable broadband at a price that makes sense for customers", said Rajeev Badyal, VP of technology for Project Kuiper. Amazon has earmarked more than $10 billion for the project, inspired by "customers in every corner of the world", a company blog post said, citing the COVID-19 pandemic-and the families, researchers, first responders, and companies it's affected-as the driving force.

The authorization allows Project Kuiper to deliver satellite-based broadband services in the USA, with a goal of helping expand Internet access to households and communities across the country.

Amazon - which Jeff Bezos founded in 1995 - finalized a major victory this week when it was granted regulatory approval to move forward with Kuiper, a fleet of 3,236 internet-carrying satellites, reports Business Insider. "We're off to the races", he said.

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Amazon is not alone in its quest to build a low-Earth orbit internet network.

Per the filing, the Kuiper System will use Ka-band frequencies to provide "fixed broadband communications services to rural and hard-to-reach areas" as well as "high-throughput mobile broadband connectivity services for aircraft, maritime vessels and land vehicles".

Astronomers have started complaining that the early satellite launches are already creating a problem for monitoring space from Earth, and that is before SpaceX, Amazon, and others launch thousands of additional LEOs.

Following the announcement, Amazon said it will invest $10 billion in the project to meet these deadlines.

"There are still too many places where broadband access is unreliable or where it doesn't exist at all", Limp said. Kuiper will change that. Another important stipulation mandates that Amazon must finalise its design plans for the satellites and, more importantly, how the company plans to mitigate its contributions to the growing cosmic junkyard that is Earth's low orbit.

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Elon Musk's SpaceX was previously granted approval for launching 12,000 satellites for its Starlink project.

The FCC authorisation, received with a 5-0 vote, expects Amazon to dispatch half of its satellites no later than mid-2026 and work out the remainder of the group of stars by mid-2029.

Rival SpaceX has already launched more than 500 satellites of the roughly 12,000 expected for its Starlink constellation in low Earth orbit and plans to offer broadband service in the USA and Canada by the year's end.

How Amazon plans to complete this mission?

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