The U.S. FCC approves Amazon’s $10 billion Kuiper satellite broadband project which will put 3,236 satellites in the orbit
Jeff Bezos’ dream of owning a piece of the Internet backbone pie will finally come true. Amazon’s $10 billion Project Kuiper has got the green signal from the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to put 3,200 satellites in space.
The Ajit Pai lead FCC announced the decision to approve Amazon’s Project Kuiper which will build a vast broadband network of more than 3,200 satellites in low Earth orbit. “Specifically, we grant Kuiper’s application for authority to deploy and operate its NGSO FSS system in the 17.7-17.8 GHz, 17.8-18.6 GHz, 18.8-19.3 GHz, 19.3-19.7 GHz, 19.7-20.2 GHz, 27.5-28.6 GHz, 28.6-29.1 GHz, 29.1-29.5 GHz, and 29.5-30.0 GHz bands,” states the FCC approval.
Amazon also confirmed the news on its blog saying that they got approval to “deploy and operate our constellation of 3,236 satellites.” The blog adds that Amazon will provide “reliable, affordable broadband service to unserved and underserved communities around the world.”
Jeff Bezos’s Amazon will now be competing with Elon Musk’s StarLink which has similar ambitions to connect the world through low orbit satellites. Starlink will launch a total of 800 small satellites into space to bring cheaper and high latency Internet connection to the remotest areas on Earth. The other competition to Starlink and Amazon’s Kuiper is OneWeb, a collaboration between top Indian telecom company, Bharti Global Ltd., and the British government.
“Last spring, we announced Project Kuiper, an initiative to build a low earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation capable of providing reliable, affordable broadband service to unserved and underserved communities around the world,” Amazon stated. “Today marked a key milestone for the project, with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granting Amazon approval by a 5-0 vote to deploy and operate our constellation of 3,236 satellites,” it added.
Amazon’s Project Kuiper was objected to by SES Americom and O3b. There was also a petition filed against it by Telesat Canada (Telesat), and the petitions to deny filed by Theia Holdings and WorldVu Satellites Limited. FCC overrode all concerns and stated that “We conclude that grant of Kuiper’s application would advance the public interest by authorizing a system designed to increase the availability of high-speed broadband service to consumers, government, and businesses.”