- SpaceX is running a program to deliver Starlink to school buses in some rural communities.
- On Tuesday, SpaceX sent a letter to the FCC urging it to approve funding for WiFi on school buses.
- In August, the FCC denied $866 million in subsidies to SpaceX to provide service to remote areas.
SpaceX is piloting a program to extend its satellite Internet service to some school buses in the United States, according to Tuesday. Filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The company told the FCC that it is currently working with school districts in rural areas of the country to provide SpaceX’s satellite Internet service to students on buses, “turning ride time into connected time,” the filing said. Elon Musk’s company told the FCC that it is focusing the pilot program on bus routes that are longer than an hour and are “mainly inaccessible to other mobile broadband services.”
“Many students who need the most support are miles from school, with long commutes but no connectivity,” SpaceX said in its filing, noting that many low-income students are also No internet access at home. “No service is better placed to better close this neglected part of the homework gap than Starlink,” it added.
In the letter, SpaceX urged the FCC to approve federal funding to help provide school buses with WiFi. Earlier this year, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworsel announcement The proposal directs funds from a program designed to equip schools and libraries with WiFi to provide connectivity on school buses.
Spokespeople for SpaceX and the FCC did not respond to Insider’s request for comment ahead of publication.
SpaceX’s letter comes just a month after it rejected $866 million in subsidies for Starlink to provide service to rural communities in the United States. The commission said the space initiative had “failed to demonstrate that providers can deliver the promised services” and labeled Starlink a “still-developing technology”.
SpaceX was quick to hit back at the agency over the decision. The company called the FCC decision “generally unfair” and “contrary to the evidence” the company presented in its bid for the subsidy.
Musk’s company is only available approval FCC to use Starlink for vehicles running in June. However, the service continues to grow. Last week, SpaceX conducted a demo flight in a private jet to demonstrate Starlink’s capabilities at 30,000 feet in the air.
Starlink currently has one user base Over 400,000 customers worldwide. The company has a network of more than 2,500 satellites in low orbit. The service is designed to provide high-speed Internet of up to 200 Mbps to customers in rural areas and high latitudes.