Amazon.com is requesting permission from US communications regulators to install more than 4,500 additional satellites as part of its plan to bring high-speed internet to areas across the world where it is now unavailable.
Amazon had previously stated that their Project Kuiper programme will cost at least $10 billion to build 3,236 such satellites. It approached the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) late on Thursday for permission to install a total of 7,774 satellites for the project.
Amazon applied to the FCC on Monday for permission to launch and operate two prototype satellites by the end of 2022.
The satellites will “service households, hospitals, businesses, government agencies, and other organisations around the world, especially in geographic areas where dependable broadband is lacking,” according to Amazon’s filing.
“Although worldwide connection has increased, just 51% of the global population and 44% of the population of developing nations are online,” according to the corporate filing.
The FCC approved the Project Kuiper plan for a constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites in 2020, to compete with Elon Musk’s SpaceX’s Starlink network.
Amazon has had a public spat with Musk, accusing him of disobeying a slew of regulatory regulations.
In the private space launch sector, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, and Musk are competitors. On Thursday, a court rejected Bezos’ Blue Origin’s appeal to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s decision to grant SpaceX a $2.9 billion lunar lander contract. https://www.reuters.com/technology/us-judge-rejects-blue-origin-challenge-nasas-pick-spacex-moon-lander-2021-11-04
More than 1,700 satellites have been launched by SpaceX.
The Federal Communications Commission accepted Boeing’s application to launch and operate 147 satellites to deliver high-speed broadband internet access earlier this week.
In 2017, Boeing applied to the FCC for permission to launch a V-band Constellation of primarily low-Earth orbit satellites.
Boeing stated this week that “satellite technologies have a multi-orbit future.” As the demand for satellite communications develops, variety across orbital regimes and frequencies will be required to meet individual client needs.”