FCC chairman Ajit Pai says he wants to approve Jeff Bezos and Amazon’s massive plan for a mega-constellation of an initial 3,236 satellites known as Project Kuiper.
Pai, on July 10th, said he has shared his proposal with the other key members of the FCC. He Tweeted: “Earlier today, I shared with my colleagues a proposal to approve, with conditions, Kuiper’s application to deploy and operate an NGSO satellite network. Satellite constellations like this aim to provide high-speed broadband service to consumers in the US and around the world.”
The full FCC board of five Commissioners would need at least a simple majority to fully approve the Amazon project. Pai, appointed by President Trump, leads the Republican portion of the FCC board of Commissioners.
Amazon’s SVP/devices and services, Dave Limp, hailed Pai’s positive comments, saying: “The need for reliable, affordable broadband has never been more apparent. There are still too many communities where Internet access is unreliable or prohibitively expensive, and we see Project Kuiper as a way to help close this gap for unserved and underserved communities around the world,” Limp stated.
There is, as yet, no list of objections or conditions attached to Chairman Pai’s comments. However, back in January Amazon said they still had work to do on finalising their system and it could be that Pai’s comments recognise that there’s more that needs to come from Amazon before the Kuiper system gets fully approved.