In early June, SpaceX starlink satellite internet service could soon be available for passengers on Royal Caribbean Group cruise ships. Now, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday granted SpaceX the ability to expand its services to trains, ships and other vehicles such as entertainment, according to CNN.
Achieving lower latency
Hawaiian Airlines signed a deal with SpaceX in April indicating that it has ambitious plans to bring Starlink service to some of its jets. For a very long time, airlines, ships, & trains have relied on satellites located in geosynchronous orbits more than 22,000 miles away.
However, SpaceX’s Starlink has put thousands of satellites into low Earth orbit, or several hundred miles above the ground. The company claims that this approach results to lower latency.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk previously tweeted that on the move Starlink Internet is possible, tweeting that “Starlink works with moving vehicles, including aircraft, but is not yet reliable.” Meanwhile, the Royal Caribbean Group wrote a letter to the Federal Communications Commission praising Starlink’s service.
John Maya, Vice President of Operations Excellence at Royal Caribbean Group, wrote: “We believe we have identified a true next-gen solution for our ships,” adding that “Our work with SpaceX, the first of its kind in cruise industry, will set the standard for other travel operators and will mean a giant leap in terms of guest experience & business operations at sea. “
In the public’s best interest
Meanwhile, in its June 30 approval letter for Starlink, the FCC argued that approving the new capacity was in the best public interest. “We agree with SpaceX & Kepler that the public interest would benefit by granting with conditions their applications,” FCC wrote.
“The approval of a new class of terminals for the SpaceX satellite system will expand the range of broadband capabilities to meet the growing demands of users that now need connectivity on the move, whether driving an RV across the country moving a freighter from Europe to a US port or during on domestic or international flight.
What does this mean for ordinary folk?
This means that the connection will now always be available. No more turning off your phone when boarding a plane, go-on a cruise, or driving cross-country. In a recent interview , out-of-network Starlink user Steve Birch said that the service provided by Starlink is great, but it’s also a “double-edged sword” because it’s now “always reachable”.