Amazon responds to Elon Musk’s accusations of impeding SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet plans

Founder of Amazon in addition to house firm Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos, speaks in regards to the future of industrial house journey.

Brent Lewis | Denver Post | Getty Images

The satellite internet initiatives of the 2 richest males on the planet proceed to spar behind the scenes with federal regulators, with Amazon on Thursday clarifying its place in response to current accusations from Elon Musk and SpaceX that Jeff Bezos‘ firm is trying to “stifle competition” within the sector.

Representatives of Amazon spoke to Federal Communications Commission officers earlier this week, doubling down on its place that the FCC mustn’t approve SpaceX’s modification request for elements of its Starlink satellite community. Amazon and SpaceX are working to construct space-based internet networks — referred to as Kuiper and Starlink, respectively — by launching hundreds of satellites into orbit, identified within the business as a constellation.

While Amazon emphasised that it “supports the ability of operators to modify their system designs,” the corporate argued that SpaceX’s proposed adjustments to Starlink are too vital to be thought of as a easy modification by the FCC. Rather, Amazon says the FCC ought to contemplate Starlink as a “newly designed system” and embody it in a broader regulatory processing spherical that was open when SpaceX submitted the request final 12 months.

“Doing so would be consistent with Commission precedent, protect the public interest, encourage coordination, and promote competition,” Amazon company counsel Mariah Dodson Shuman wrote in a letter to the FCC.

Amazon just isn’t alone in pushing again on Starlink’s modification request, with satellite operators Viasat, SES and Kepler Communications additionally submitting objections.

60 Starlink satellites deploy into orbit after the corporate’s 17th mission.


Amazon’s concern with SpaceX’s modification focuses round points of security and interference, with the corporate arguing that the Starlink change “would significantly increase interference to Kuiper” and different satellite programs, whereas additionally making Starlink “more susceptible to interference from Kuiper” and others.

SpaceX Director David Goldman informed the FCC in January that Starlink’s modification would “be able to achieve the advantages of lower altitudes without causing a significant increase in interference.” Additionally, Goldman highlighted that Amazon representatives have had “30 meetings to oppose SpaceX” however “no meetings to authorize its own system,” which he interpreted as an try to stifle competitors.

But, whereas SpaceX argued that Amazon and different corporations “cherry pick data … to reach misleading claims of interference,” Kuiper’s Shuman alleged that SpaceX “omitted” comparative knowledge from its evaluation. Shuman mentioned that knowledge exhibits Starlink’s modification “increases interference into Kuiper” connectivity stations on the bottom.

A Project Kuiper engineer units up a a prototype antenna for a take a look at.


Both corporations’ satellite networks characterize formidable initiatives, with SpaceX, like Amazon, saying its community will price about $10 billion or extra to construct. SpaceX management has beforehand estimated that Starlink might herald as a lot as $30 billion a 12 months, or greater than 10 instances the annual income of its rocket enterprise.

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