Feb 14, 2018 03:22 PM ET

Pai Backs SpaceX's Broadband Play
Says FCC should approve application to launch satellite service

By John Eggerton
Broadcasting & Cable


FCC chair Ajit Pai has recommended to the other commissioners that they
approve an application by SpaceX to launch a global, satellite-delivered
broadband service.

"Following careful review of this application by our International Bureau’s
excellent satellite engineering experts, I have asked my colleagues to join
me in supporting this application and moving to unleash the power of
satellite constellations to provide high-speed Internet to rural
Americans," Pai said in a statement.

Pai said the country would need innovative approaches like SpaceX's and
others, to bridge the digital divide, a key FCC priority, and to provide
broadband competition, another FCC goal.

"Satellite technology can help reach Americans who live in rural or
hard-to-serve places where fiber optic cables and cell towers do not
reach," Pai said. "And it can offer more competition where terrestrial
Internet access is already available."

The FCC has already approved applications by OneWeb, SpaceNorway and
Telesat to access U.S. markets to provide satellite-delivered broadband.

Google was a big investor in SpaceX, presumably to get in on the satellite
broadband play.
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