Through the Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA), the Australian government recently approved the inclusion of billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Swarm Technologies and Kepler Communications in the Australia Foreign Space Objects Determination list which lists foreign companies authorized to apply for authorizations to provide communication services in the country.
ACMA’s decision to include these foreign technology companies on Australia’s Foreign Space Objects Determination list allows recipients to apply for licenses to provide services. In particular, inclusion on this list is essential before a foreign-owned satellite network is allowed to operate on specific frequencies in Australia. Thanks to this, SpaceX will for example be able to apply for licenses in order to establish communications between its satellites and bases in Australia. The Australian regulator, however, clarified that being on the list “does not confer on the entity a right to obtain a license, but rather constitutes a prerequisite for a spacecraft license to be issued; “.
Rural and regional areas of Australia may soon have access to high-speed internet after Elon Musk ‘s bold new project Starlink Beta – the first stages of SpaceX’s satellite broadband program – was launched in Australia, which has enabled certain remote and special areas of the country to access high-speed satellite Internet.
The service, currently in beta testing mode, is only available in rural central Victoria and the Highlands region of southern New South Wales. However, the service is has become more widely available in other parts of Australia.
Satellite broadband is not new to Australia, with the technology first launched in 2015-2016 and primarily used to deliver internet to remote areas that have difficult or no access to standard cables on offer. as part of the National Broadband Network (NBN), Australia’s fiber optic deployment project.
It currently boasts a market of over 100,000 active customers using services like NBN Co’s Sky Muster broadband. Sky Muster’s two satellites orbit approximately 36,000 km above the Earth. , a factor that has led to slower internet access speeds and higher latency – the delay between when someone performs an action on the internet and when they receive a response – which can harm to activities such as live video conferencing and online gaming.
By contrast, according to Space News , Starlink has launched more than 1,200 satellites into low Earth orbit. Using high throughput low-orbit satellite technology, the satellites are approximately 60 times closer to Earth than Sky Muster I and II, allowing internet access at much higher speeds and with lower latency.
SpaceX, officially Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, is an American company working in the field of astronautics and space flight. Founded on May 6, 2002 by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, SpaceX is one of two private service providers contracted by NASA to transport cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the COTS program.
Through his company SpaceX, Elon Musk has embarked on a new challenge: to allow consumers around the world to finally have access to a stable and good quality broadband Internet connection, which is not expensive. Eventually, the company wants to operate thousands of satellites that will circle the planet at an altitude of approximately 482 to 1126 kilometers. This project was called Starlink. If successful, this project could profoundly change the landscape of the telecommunications industry. It could also bring SpaceX billions of dollars each year ($30 billion, according to Elon Musk) if Starlink could effectively compete with existing internet providers and help get more people online.
Elon Musk, the boss of SpaceX, is convinced that in the long term his Starlink constellation which will present itself as a vast network composed of thousands of interconnected satellites will become “; the most advanced broadband Internet system in the world; “. SpaceX already obtained a similar authorization in the United States in 2018, which allowed it a few months later to proceed on an experimental basis with the launch of 60 satellites in Florida. Elon Musk’s company has since put 242 satellites into orbit as part of its Starlink project, with the commercial opening of Starlink scheduled for 2020.
It should be noted in passing that SpaceX is also seeking authorization from the International Telecommunications Union for the operation of 30,000 additional satellites at a specific frequency, power level and position in space. The announcement was made Oct. 15 by SpaceNews (a print and digital publication that covers economic and political news from the space industry and satellites). This number is in addition to the 12,000 satellites already approved by the US Federal Communications Commission.
Toronto-based Kepler Communications wants to provide data storage and transmission and Internet of Things (IoT) services to Australian users using a constellation of satellites. Swarm Technologies, based in Mountain View, Calif., meanwhile, is seeking permission to offer two-way connectivity for IoT and machine-to-machine sensors in Australia.
However, not everyone in Australia sees this outcome as a good thing. The Australian television operator Foxtel, for example, believes that SpaceX should not appear on the Australia Foreign Space Objects Determination list, assuring that the activities of this company on Australian territory would interfere with its own satellite services.
“It’s a critical link in our production chain, and the consequences of interference, interruptions or margin degradations are at the highest level of consequences for a business like Foxtel,” Foxtel said.