Documents have been filed with the FCC in the US by SpaceX that shows the company wants approval to put into orbit a network of satellites to provide internet access at high speeds all around the globe. SpaceX is wanting to put a communications array into orbit around the Earth that would eventually total 4,425 satellites. SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the project would cost the company about $10 billion.
The $10 billion comment was made by Musk in January 2015 when the project was first announced. The latest documents field with the FCC shed no new light on how much the satellite network would cost or how it might be paid for. SpaceX certainly has backers with deep pockets that could help with the financing side of the satellite network.
Among its backers are Google Inc and Fidelity Investments. Google has spent massive amounts of money over the years on bringing faster internet to parts of the world that are underserved and could stand to benefit from faster global internet access. Fidelity Investments is also another major investor in SpaceX, together it and Google have invested to the tune of $1 billion.
In the beginning the satellite network SpaceX wants permission for world have about 800 satellites in orbit and would expand internet access in the US including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The network would be an alternative to cable, fiber optic and other internet access already available in the US. If permission is granted, it’s unclear when launches might begin.
“The system is designed to provide a wide range of broadband and communications services for residential, commercial, institutional, government and professional users worldwide,” SpaceX said in technical documents accompanying its filing.