SpaceX joins battle over satellite bandwidth

Image: SpaceX Redmond
SpaceX’s Redmond office is the center for its satellite operations. (GeekWire photo by Kevin Lisota)

SpaceX has provided a rare update on its Seattle-centric plans to develop a multibillion-dollar Internet satellite network, saying that the work is now at a “critical stage.”

That assessment is part of the company’s argument against giving away the bandwidth required for such a network for another purpose – specifically, for 5G mobile broadband services that would be offered by Dish Network and other members of an industry coalition.

The Multi-Channel Video Distribution and Data Service Coalition filed a petition on Wednesday with the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday, asking that the Ku-band spectrum currently being reserved for satellite broadband should be reallocated for 5G services.

“There is simply no basis to jeopardize 5G deployment to give additional spectrum to a speculative NGSO (non-geostationary orbit) service that already has access to ample spectrum,” the MVDDS Coalition told the FCC.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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