Published: July 30, 2020 at 9:13 p.m. ET
Project Kuiper would use 3,200 satellites to beam high-speed internet service to ‘underserved’ consumers
Amazon also posted record earnings on Thursday.
Amazon.com Inc. has won approval from the Federal Communications Commission to build a $10 billion satellite-internet network that would rival SpaceX’s Starlink network.
In documents released Thursday, the FCC authorized Amazon’s request to construct a network of more than 3,200 satellites in low Earth orbit. Amazon told the FCC it intends to launch the satellites in five phases and at three different altitudes, with the service becoming operational once the first wave of 578 satellites is in orbit.
The network, known as Project Kuiper, is intended to beam high-speed internet service to “unserved and underserved consumers” across much of the world, including the U.S.
In a separate statement, Amazon
said it will invest more than $10 billion in the project.
“There are still too many places where broadband access is unreliable or where it doesn’t exist at all. Kuiper will change that,” Amazon Senior Vice President Dave Limp said in the statement. “Our $10 billion investment will create jobs and infrastructure around the United States that will help us close this gap.”
Last year, Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched the first satellites for its massive Starlink project, which will eventually beam high-speed internet service around the world from a constellation of about 12,000 satellites.
Earlier Thursday, Amazon released record second-quarter earnings that smashed analysts’ expectations. Amazon shares are up 65% year to date, compared to the S&P 500’s
0.5% gain this year.