Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said on Wednesday that he approves an application by Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Holdings or more commonly known as, SpaceX, to launch a broadband service using satellite.
“To bridge America’s digital divide, we’ll have to use innovative technologies. SpaceX’s application—along with those of other satellite companies seeking licenses or access to the U.S. market for non-geostationary satellite orbit systems—involves one such innovation.” said Pai in a statement.
“Satellite technology can help reach Americans who live in rural or hard-to-serve places where fiber optic cables and cell towers do not reach. And it can offer more competition where terrestrial Internet access is already available.” added Pai.
Pai says after reviewing the application said he asked his colleagues to join in supporting the application, as it will be the first approval given to an American-based company to provide broadband services using low-Earth orbit satellite technology..
Over the past year, the FCC has approved applications from other companies such as OneWeb, Space Norway and Telesat to offer broadband services using satellite.
The FCC said that the technology is promising to consumers as it will expand internet access to remote and rural areas that lack connectivity.
In a report by the Census Bureau, it was reported that 62 percent of American households had “high connectivity” in 2015, meaning they had access to either a desktop or laptop, or portable computer or smartphone and a broadband internet subscription.
The U.S. government has been looking for options into lowering costs in order to provide high-speed internet access or simply internet access to regions of the country that lack proper connectivity.