SpaceX’s goal is to transform humans into a multi-planet species. The aerospace company is developing spacecraft that will one day enable life on Mars. To fund its space program, SpaceX aims to deploy its satellite broadband network called Starlink. The Starlink network will consist of deploying a constellation of 12,000 internet-beaming satellites into low Earth orbit. SpaceX has already successfully deployed 540 Starlink satellites. SpaceX officials stated the network will benefit rural areas, where internet connectivity is unreliable, non-existent, or too expensive to acquire.
The founder of SpaceX Elon Musk shared customers will receive Starlink’s internet signal from space via user terminals that look like a "UFO on a Stick." The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) already approved the operation of one million user terminals in the United States. The FCC filing revealed the user terminals will be 19 inches in diameter, and that roll out of the service is expected before mid-March next year. SpaceX is targeting to offer Starlink internet connection in the Northern United States and Canada before the year-ends. Then expand into a global network by 2021.
According to a recent regulatory filing in the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) website, SpaceX, formally - Space Exploration Technologies Corp., applied for a telecommunications license in Canada. The license SpaceX is seeking is a Basic International Telecommunications Services (BITS) license. If approved, it would authorize the company to beam Starlink’s data – “telecommunications traffic between Canada and any other country,” it reads.
The municipal councilor for Pointe-Fortune, Quebec, Canada, Kenneth Flack, voiced his support for SpaceX in a statement on the CRTC website. He wrote that the absence of high-speed internet “severely limits the community to participate fully as a connected member of society,” noting that amid the coronavirus outbreak staying connected is vital, especially for seniors and children who are in isolation to avoid the respiratory illness. Flack stated:
“I encourage the CRTC to accelerate the acceptance of this application for provisioning of services such as this without delay, as it will also provide the capability for our communities to deal with and recover from this pandemic. The SpaceX – Starlink Internet Services project as a whole, specifically benefits those most in need, and the most disadvantaged.”
SpaceX vowed that its Starlink service would be affordable and benefit rural areas where internet is otherwise too expensive and/or unreliable.
More than 1,200 Canadian residents also voiced their support for SpaceX Starlink in the Canadian Telecommunications Commission website. “I live in rural Ontario where there are no providers that can provide internet at a fast and affordable price,” said Mahdi Hossinzehi, a resident of Cedar Valley, Ontario, “With fast, reliable and affordable internet, rural areas will benefit immensely economically, and a lot of younger people won't end up leaving for the city.”
Carol Jobity of Adjala-Tosorontio, Canada wrote to the regulator – “Please approve this. We're in support 100 percent.” Another resident, Brandt Chu, wrote – “Any reasonable proposal that could really connect us to the rest of the world should be welcomed.”
You can find out when Starlink will be available in your city via SpaceX's website. “Get updates on Starlink news and service availability in your area,” the website reads –you simply type your email address and city’s zip code to receive email updates. SpaceX’s website: STARLINK UPDATES
* Edit: 540 Starlink satellites.
About the Author
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.