Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), the launch services and aerospace venture established by Elon Musk, confirmed plans in a recent FCC filing to deploy a constellation of 4,000 low-earth orbit satellites that would expand broadband Internet connectivity to every area of the world, including the most remote regions on earth. SpaceX is not the first company with plans to cover the globe with wireless Internet signals from space, as OneWeb, a company started by Greg Wyler (who founded O3B) and backed by Qualcomm and Virgin Galactic, has also announced similar plans. SpaceX intends to design, build and launch the satellites on its own instead of contracting those tasks to outsiders. SpaceX has also stated that its satellites would be smaller, lighter and less expensive to build and maintain than similar spacecraft.
The documents filed by SpaceX seek FCC consent to conduct tests on the proposed system starting next year, with the goal of commencing service in five years. The satellites would be placed in low earth orbit via the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle and would connect to ground stations at three West Coast facilities.