Skip to main content

The FCC authorizes SpaceX’s Starlink system to be used on vehicles in motion

The FCC authorizes SpaceX’s Starlink system to be used on vehicles in motion

/

It’s a long-awaited authorization for SpaceX

Share this story

Photo by Thomas Ricker / The Verge

Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted SpaceX authorization to use its Starlink satellite internet system on vehicles in motion — including cars, trucks, boats, and aircraft. It’s a big win for SpaceX’s Starlink system, potentially opening up the service to a more diverse range of use cases and customers.

SpaceX requested regulatory approval from the FCC in March of last year to allow Earth Stations in Motion (ESIM) Starlink terminals to be used in moving vehicles. To tap into the system and receive broadband internet coverage, customers must purchase a personal ground-based antenna, or user terminal, that is designed to connect with any orbiting Starlink satellites that happen to be overhead. Up until now, those dishes have had to remain in a fixed location in order to access the system.

Now, the FCC has granted SpaceX’s request — as well as one from another satellite company, Kepler Communications — paving the way for a new class of user terminals that can connect to broadband-beaming satellites while on the move. While doing so, the FCC chose to deny a petition from Dish Network that sought to prevent the companies from using frequency in the 12GHz band. However, the FCC will continue to conduct analysis as it moves forward with rulemaking on the presence of ESIM devices in the 12GHz band and said Kepler and SpaceX will be subject to any future rules it sets.

The FCC argues that approving the new capability is in the public’s interest. “We agree with SpaceX and Kepler that the public interest would benefit by granting with conditions their applications,” the FCC wrote in its authorization, dated June 30th. “Authorizing a new class of terminals for SpaceX’s satellite system will expand the range of broadband capabilities to meet the growing user demands that now require connectivity while on the move, whether driving an RV across the country, moving a freighter from Europe to a U.S. port, or while on a domestic or international flight.”

The Verge’s new docuseries, The Future Of — where we explore how technology will change everything — is now streaming on Netflix. Watch it here!

Starlink is SpaceX’s ambitious initiative to launch a constellation of thousands of satellites into low- to medium-Earth orbit in order to provide low-latency broadband coverage to the Earth below. The company has more than 2,400 satellites in orbit so far, and after coming out of beta testing near the end of last year, the company recently boasted that it had 400,000 users. Customers who want to order Starlink must purchase the kit — which comes with a user terminal — for $599 and then pay a monthly fee of $110.

SpaceX has made it clear that it wants to expand Starlink beyond just residential customer use, though. The company has been negotiating with various airlines about using Starlink internet service and has deals with Hawaiian Airlines and private jet service JSX to start providing internet connectivity on their aircraft over the next couple of years. Additionally, Starlink just rolled out a new special service tier for RVs, allowing users to connect with Starlink satellites from multiple locations like campsites or vacation cabins, with no assigned “home” address for an extra fee. Though, at the time of the announcement, subscribers could not use the dishes while their RVs or vans were moving.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed An hour ago Better on the inside

J
External Link
James VincentAn hour ago
Shutterstock punts on AI-generated content.

Earlier this week, Getty Images banned the sale of AI-generated content, citing legal concerns about copyright. Now, its biggest rival, Shutterstock, has responded by doing ... absolutely nothing. In a blog post, Shutterstock’s CEO Paul Hennessy says there are “open questions on the copyright, licensing, rights, and ownership of synthetic content and AI-generated art,” but doesn’t announce any policy changes. So, you can keep on selling AI art on Shutterstock, I guess.


T
Thomas Ricker6:58 AM UTC
This custom Super73 makes me want to tongue-kiss an eagle.

Super73’s tribute to mountain-biking pioneer Tom Ritchey has my inner American engorged with flag-waving desire. The “ZX Team” edition features a red, white, and blue colorway with custom components fitted throughout. Modern MTBers might scoff at the idea of doing any serious trail riding on a heavy Super73 e-bike, which is fine: this one-off is not for sale. 

You can, however, buy the Super73 ZX it’s based on (read my review here), which proved to be a very capable all-terrain vehicle on asphalt, dirt, gravel, and amber fields of grain.


R
Richard Lawler12:25 AM UTC
The sincerest form of flattery.

I had little interest in Apple’s Dynamic Island, but once a developer built their spin on the idea for Android, I had to give it a try.

Surprisingly, I’ve found I actually like it, and while dynamicSpot isn’t as well-integrated as Apple’s version, it makes up for it with customization. Nilay’s iPhone 14 Pro review asked Apple to reverse the long-press to expand vs. tap to enter an app setup. In dynamicSpot, you can do that with a toggle (if you pay $5).


DynamicSpot app on Android shown expanding music player, in the style of Apple’s Dynamic Island in iOS 16.
DynamicSpot in action on a Google Pixel 6
Image: Richard Lawler
R
TikTok
Richard LawlerSep 22
TikTok politics.

Ahead of the midterm elections, TikTok made big changes to its rules for politicians and political fundraising on the platform, as Makena Kelly explains... on TikTok.


R
External Link
Richard LawlerSep 22
The Twitter employee who testified about Trump and the January 6th attack has come forward.

This summer, a former Twitter employee who worked on platform and content moderation policies testified anonymously before the congressional committee investigating the violence at the US Capitol on January 6th.

While she remains under NDA and much of her testimony is still sealed,  Anika Collier Navaroli has identified herself, explaining a little about why she’s telling Congress her story of what happened inside Twitter — both before the attack, and after, when it banned Donald Trump.


Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
R
Instagram
Richard LawlerSep 22
But how does it sound?

Our review of Apple’s new AirPods Pro can tell you everything about the second-generation buds. To find out how you’ll sound talking to other people through them, just listen to Verge senior video producer Becca Farsace.


A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 22
Our list of the best entertainment of 2022 keeps getting bigger.

We just added some notable entries to our running list highlighting the best games, movies, and TV shows of the year, including Return to Monkey Island, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. Sorry in advance for your free time.


The best entertainment of 2022

Everything to play and watch this year

Andrew WebsterSep 22

The best instant cameras you can buy right now

We found the best cameras for your budget and needs

Sheena VasaniSep 22
R
The Verge
Richard LawlerSep 22
The Bootleg Ratio.

Policy Editor Russell Brandom digs into a phenomenon we’ve all seen on social media before:

I call it the Bootleg Ratio: the delicate balance between A) content created by users specifically for the platform and B) semi-anonymous clout-chasing accounts drafting off the audience. Any platform will have both, but as B starts to overtake A, users will have less and less reason to visit and creators will have less and less reason to post.

And now it’s coming for TikTok.


D
Youtube
Dan SeifertSep 22
Here’s a look at a few Pixel Watch watchfaces.

Google is ramping up the marketing machine ahead of next month’s Pixel 7 and Pixel Watch event and has released a short video (via 9to5Google) highlighting the design and showcasing some of the watchfaces it will have. Most of them are quite simple, with just the time being displayed.

These videos always look great from a marketing perspective, but I think they poorly reflect how I actually use a smartwatch. I want the computer on my wrist to show me useful information like weather, calendar appointments, timers, etc, which means it’s never as sparse or simple looking as it is in these ads.


A
External Link
Please stop trying to order the Hummer EV.

GMC is closing the order books for the Hummer EV truck and SUV after receiving 90,000 reservations for the controversial electric vehicle, according to the Detroit Free Press. It just can’t seem to keep up with demand, so the GM-owned company has decided to stop taking orders until production picks up. Maybe if the Hummer’s battery wasn’t the same weight as a whole-ass Honda Civic, it would be easier to manufacture, but I digress.

GMC is the latest automaker to run into the problem of EV demand far outstripping supply. Ford also is having difficulty making enough F-150 Lightnings and Mustang Mach-Es to fill all its orders. Waitlists for most available EVs are longer than my arm. Things are going to be tight until the auto industry is able to bring more battery factories and assembly plants online, and unfortunately that could take a while.


A
External Link
Alex CranzSep 22
The Verge is hiring!

The Verge is almost always hiring, and right now we’re looking for a big Verge fan with big journalism ambition to join us as a fellow for the next year. We’re also hiring a Space Reporter to join our Science team, a Designer to work with our Art team, and a Senior Editor focused on Search. Come apply to work with us!


Fellow, The Verge

[boards.greenhouse.io]