SpaceX’s Starlink to Offer Phone Service, Reveals FCC Filing

SpaceX has filed a petition lobbying for Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) status with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) — reports Ars Technica (via Tesla North).

The filing also details SpaceX’s plans for Starlink in the future. While Starlink is currently beta testing its satellite internet services, SpaceX wants to add Voice over IP (VoIP) to the service’s repertoire at some point.

Starlink will also offer emergency 24-hour battery back up to go along with VoIP so that users don’t lose access to the service in the event of a power outage.

SpaceX’s primary goal with the Starlink service is to bring affordable high-speed internet to individuals and areas currently devoid of it — which the company is already making decent progress on.

To aid in its efforts, Starlink is requesting ETC status from the FCC, which would make the provider eligible for participation in the U.S. government’s Lifeline program. With subsidies from the Lifeline program, Starlink will be able to provide cheaper phone and internet plans to qualifying low-income individuals.

According to the FCC filing, Starlink also plans on providing both internet and phone services to its consumers as a common carrier, which would put Starlink under the governance of Title II of the Communications Act.

Starlink is currently providing satellite internet services in the U.S., Canada, and the UK as an opt-in beta, with stellar reviews across the board.

SpaceX recently revealed that Starlink has over 10,000 users in total. Demand for the service has been so overwhelming that SpaceX is lobbying the FCC for a 400% increase in allowed user terminal deployments to 5 million in total.

First satellite internet–and then now the idea of a phone service from Starlink? Canadians in rural areas are probably salivating right about now.

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