SpaceX to start testing high-speed satellite broadband later this year

SpaceX to start testing high-speed satellite broadband later this year

SpaceX has confirmed that it is working on a plan to establish a global broadband internet constellation and start on-orbit tests for that as soon as later this year.

Nearly a couple of years ago, SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk had revealed the company’s intention to create an internet constellation, consisting of thousands of satellites in low-Earth orbit (LEO) to provide customers with 1 Gbps broadband.

SpaceX’s VP of satellite government affairs Patricia Cooper recently told the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation that the company had a plan to launch 4,000 small satellites to low-Earth orbit.

During a hearing in Washington, Cooper said, “We plan to design, develop, produce, launch, and operate a constellation of 4,000 satellites. These will provide high-speed, low-latency, and affordable broadband to the underserved, and unserved, populations throughout the United States and abroad.”

The small broadband satellites will be launched in various phases on Falcon 9 rockets, and will become fully operational by 2024.

The private-sector space firm hopes to bring high-speed broadband service to more than 34 million Americans, 23 million of whom are in rural areas, who currently have no access to traditional broadband operators.

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