An US appeals court has upheld on Friday that decision made by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to endorse the SpaceX plan to launch some Starlink satellites on lower orbits than originally planned in SpaceX’s efforts to provide space-based broadband.

SpaceX, the company of Elon Musk SpaceX has won FCC acceptance in 2021 for the flight of 2,824 satellites in an lower orbit in order to offer high-speed broadband internet to those who are currently without access. Competitors Viasat Inc and DISH Network Corp contest this FCC approval.

Viasat has said that on Friday that it believed that the “decision is a setback for both space safety and environmental protection.”

The company also said that in the event that the court ordered the FCC to look into “complicated issues surrounding deployment of mega-constellations in (low-earth orbit), we believe harmful impacts that otherwise may persist for decades or even centuries to come could have been avoided.”

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In a court document, Viasat pointed out that the SpaceX deployment plan was huge in its court filing, noting “by way of comparison, approximately 10,000 satellites, total, have been launched in all of human history.”

The court’s decision stated “Viasat operates only a single satellite that flies close to SpaceX’s constellation” and said, “This theory of injury is much too speculative.”

Dish said the decision does not change FCC rules that prohibit SpaceX or other providers from interfering with the television service offered through satellite companies. “We will remain vigilant in ensuring that SpaceX operations do not harm our millions of satellite customers,” DISH stated.

SpaceX has not yet made a comment.

This week, U.S Wireless carrier T-Mobile US Inc announced that it will utilize SpaceX’s Starlink satellites to offer mobile users connectivity to networks in various areas of the United States, outlining plans to connect smartphones directly with satellites orbiting the earth.

New plans for the new plan will be available in conjunction with the existing T-mobile cellular service.

SpaceX has launched more than 3000 low-Earth orbiting Starlink satellites in the year 2019 easily outdoing competitors OneWeb in addition to Incorporated’s Project Kuiper.

In the last month, the FCC approved SpaceX’s Starlink applications were accepted for $885.5 millions in Internet service subsidy funds after having a tentative decision to award the funds in 2020.


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