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FCC Doubts LEO Satellite Broadband Services Like SpaceX’s Starlink Can Meet Latency Requirements

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted procedures for Phase I of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction, which will award up to $16 billion in support over ten years for the deployment of fixed broadband networks to homes and businesses. However, FCC has cast serious doubts about the capability of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite operators, such as SpaceX’s Starlink, to provide low-latency broadband and thus their eligibility to bid.

What the FCC said on June 11th in it’s public notice: “We are ... unaware of any low earth orbit network capable of providing a mass market retail broadband service to residential consumers that could meet the Commission’s 100 ms round-trip latency requirements. ... We therefore have serious doubts that any low earth orbit networks will be able to meet the short-form application requirements for bidding in the low latency tier.” SpaceX has a month to convince the FCC officials otherwise.

Larry Press digs deeper into the debate on CircleID / read it here

By CircleID Reporter

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