According to recent reports, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced to have circulated Boeing Co’s application for seeking approval for its satellite plan, a plan to launch and operate about 147 satellites to provide broadband internet access for a vote, according to Reuters.
But wait, doesn’t this plan seem familiar? Where have we heard this before? We will tell you, but first, let’s know about Boeing Co.
This is not the first time that Boeing has passed on the application to seek approval for its satellite plan, it started out back in 2017 with Boeing seeking approval to deploy a V-band constellation using low earth orbit and non-geostationary orbit satellites, just to provide high-speed broadband communications to the world, as mentioned in a report by Reuters.
Well, that plan did not work because Elon Musk’s SpaceX barged in and requested the Federal Communications Commission to reject Boeing’s application saying that it represents a clear danger of harmful interference with other satellites in the orbit. The interference could also cause problems with other systems. SpaceX asked the FCC to at least request Boeing to impose appropriate conditions to ensure that its operations in Space do not harm those of competitor’s operators up there.
Boeing Co. did not have an answer to this and the idea to operate a V-band Constellation and provide satellite-based internet and communications to the public and private consumers and government agencies across the United States came to a halt.
After Boeing, the next obvious competitor was Elon Musk’s SpaceX, and the FCC approved SpaceX’s plan to deploy Starlink satellites into the lower earth orbit that also had similar plans to what Boeing Co had i.e., to push satellite-based internet connectivity to provide high-speed broadband internet and communication services to areas where optic fibre currently lack access.
SpaceX has planned to eventually deploy more than 12,000 Starlink satellites into the lower earth orbit, and the cost of the entire project is calculated to be somewhere around USD 10 billion.
There are several advantages to having a satellite-based internet connection. First, high-speed internet connectivity. Second, high-speed communication services in rural areas and anywhere which does not allow access to optic fibre cables or lack access to cell towers. Third, in case of natural disasters that disrupt communication, such as a hurricane or earthquake, a satellite-based internet would not suffer.
What do you think? Did SpaceX steal the Starlink idea from Boeing?