Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink in talks with UK’s Project Gigabit – tech2.org

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink in talks with UK’s Project Gigabit

A Starlink user terminal is being configured.


Elon Musk’s SpaceX is in talks with the UK so that the company’s Starlink satellite unit can raise funds as part of the government’s new $ 6.9 billion internet infrastructure program, CNBC confirmed.

UK Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman recently met with Starlink leadership, a person familiar with the talks told CNBC, as part of ongoing discussions with various technology communications companies for the ‘Project Gigabit ‘launched on Friday.

Sky News first reported on the talks, noting that UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden believes Starlink is one of the best options for bringing internet services to hard-to-reach areas across the country.

SpaceX did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment on the discussions, while the UK government declined to comment.

Starlink is the company’s capital intensive project to build an interconnected Internet network with thousands of satellites, known in the space industry as a constellation, designed to deliver high-speed Internet to consumers anywhere on the planet.

The company has put more than 1,200 satellites into orbit so far, and in October began rolling out the Starlink service early in a public beta that now extends to customers in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, and New. Zeeland, priced at $ 99 a month in the US.

The UK on Friday launched the first phase of Project Gigabit, which is the government’s $ 6.9 billion (£ 5 billion) program to upgrade internet service for more than a million homes and businesses.

The first phase of the project will bring together proposed solutions from companies with a variety of delivery methods, including satellites and other “high altitude platforms”.

Possible addition to FCC earnings

Boxes containing Starlink kits, with user terminals and Wi-Fi routers.


The Gigabit project represents the potential for SpaceX to add more government subsidy proceeds for Starlink, as the company received nearly $ 900 million in federal subsidies late last year as part of the Federal Commission’s Rural Broadband auction. Communications.

The FCC awarded SpaceX the fourth-most funding in the $ 9.2 billion auction, and the grants will be distributed in monthly milestone payments over the next decade. But SpaceX’s award has been met with protests from other US broadband providers, notably the DISH Network, and other Internet service providers dismissed Starlink as a “science experiment” with “completely unproven technology. “.

SpaceX has responded, telling the FCC that the other vendors’ complaints are “not valid” and are a way of “crippling a competitor.”

Meanwhile, SpaceX has continued to expand the Starlink service, and the public beta has garnered more than 10,000 users in its first three months. Musk’s company plans to expand Starlink service beyond homes, asking the FCC to expand its connectivity authorization to “moving vehicles,” so that Starlink can be used with everything from airplanes to ships to large trucks.

NASA collision agreement

60 Starlink satellites deploy into orbit after the company’s 17th mission.


SpaceX also signed an agreement with NASA in January, the US space agency revealed last week, to cooperate on how to avoid collisions with the company’s Starlink satellites.

With the company adding more spacecraft to orbit each month, while its rockets launch 60 Starlink satellites at a time, NASA said “greater interaction and partnership” was needed to ensure continuous and safe operations in orbit.

“NASA agreed not to maneuver in the event of a possible conjunction to ensure that the parties do not inadvertently maneuver each other. NASA will operate on the basis that the autonomous maneuverability of the Starlink satellites will attempt to maneuver to avoid the conjunction with NASA. . assets, and that NASA will maintain its planned trajectory unless SpaceX informs it otherwise, “the agreement says.

The agency also said it will work with SpaceX to “share technical experience and lessons learned” to reduce glare from satellites.

The company has previously announced changes to the satellites to lower the brightness, following complaints from astronomers about the increasing presence of Starlink satellites in the sky.


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