Amazon seeks permission from FCC to launch over 3,000 broadband internet satellites for its ‘Project Kuiper’ initiative
Amazon is getting closer toward its goal of providing global broadband internet from space through its Project Kuiper initiative. On July 4, US Independence Day, Amazon submitted its application with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC ) seeking approval to launch thousands of broadband satellites for connectivity across the globe.
According to the filings, the eCommerce detailed the plans to deliver internet service to “tens of millions” of consumers both in the United States and around the world via the satellite constellation, which would operate in the Ka-band. Amazon first detailed plans of the project in April, and the latest FCC filings show it would consist of 3,236 satellites in 98 orbital planes, at altitudes between 366 and 391 miles.
“Submitting to the FCC is the first step – next, the FCC will thoroughly review our application and we look forward to working with them throughout this process,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an email Monday.
Project Kuiper is a long-term initiative to launch a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites that will provide low-latency, high-speed broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved communities around the world.
Project Kuiper is one of the many projects embarked by tech giants to expand internet access to more people. SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space travel company, is already developing Starlink, a similar project to create a satellite-based internet service that would also rely on thousands of low-orbit satellites. Facebook, too, is working on ways to bring internet access to millions of people through its Facebook Connectivity projects. Back in February, we wrote about Facebook when the world’s largest social networking site partnered with Telefonica, others, to extend rural connectivity and bring internet access to more people.
The name Project Kuiper likely refers to Gerard Kuiper, an astronomer and the namesake of the Kuiper Belt, which is a collection of ice bodies past Neptune’s orbit.