Amazon is seeking approval from US communications regulators to deploy more than 4,500 additional satellites as part of its efforts to bring broadband Internet to regions around the world that lack high-speed connections. Amazon has previously said it plans to spend at least $10 billion to build 3,236 such satellites through its Project Kuiper program.
It asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve the deployment of a total of 7,774 satellites for the program.
On Monday, Amazon asked the FCC for approval to launch and operate two prototype satellites by the end of 2022. In its filing, Amazon said the satellites "will serve homes, hospitals, businesses, government agencies and other organizations around the world, including in geographic areas that still lack reliable broadband." "Despite improvements in connectivity worldwide, only 51 percent of the global population and 44 percent of the developing world population are online," the company's submission said.
In 2020, the FEDERAL Communications Commission approved the Kuiper Project, a constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites to compete with the Starlink network being built by Elon Musk's SpaceX. Amazon has sparred with Musk, accusing the billionaire of ignoring various government regulations.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Musk are rivals in the private space launch business.
Bezos' Blue Origin had challenged NASA's decision to award SpaceX a $2.9 billion lunar lander contract.
Last week, the FEDERAL Communications Commission approved Boeing Co's (BA.N) application to launch and operate 147 satellites to provide high-speed broadband Internet access. Boeing first filed an application with the FCC in 2017 seeking approval to deploy a V-band constellation consisting primarily of low-Earth orbit satellites.
Boeing said this week that it "sees a multi-orbit future for satellite technology. As the demand for satellite communications grows, cross-orbit regimes and frequency diversity will be required to meet unique customer needs."
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