The FCC order read in part, “Our action will allow SpaceX to begin deployment of Gen 2 Starlink.”
The regulator’s decision is in line with SpaceX plans to expand the Starlink network to one day include more than 30,000 satellites in low-earth orbit.
The FCC did not grant SpaceX the full allocation it requested, which included deployment of the total 30,000 satellites. It placed conditions on the plan to implement its satellites array, including awaiting an analysis “… to address concerns about orbital debris and space safety,” deferring a decision on the application to launch the larger number.
The authorization also imposed the requirement that SpaceX coordinate with other satellite operators as well as with NASA and the National Science Foundation to protect science missions and radio astronomy. SpaceX’s FCC application has been contested in filings with the regulator from companies including Viasat, DISH, and Amazon.
SpaceX has launched 3,500 of the first-generation Starlink satellites into orbit, providing high-speed, low-latency satellite broadband service to the company’s 500,000 subscribers. During 2022, Starlink services have been specifically tailored to residential, commercial business, RVs, marine, and aerospace clients.