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June 30, 2022, 10:26 p.m. EDT

FCC gives SpaceX’s Starlink the OK to broaden its customer base

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Micah Maidenberg, Drew FitzGerald

Federal authorities gave SpaceX permission to link a range of vehicles to its satellite-internet service, a win for the company as it seeks to broaden its customer base.

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday allowed the Elon Musk-led company to begin operating Starlink, as its internet unit is called, on everything from airplanes and boats to RVs, according to an order from the FCC. The authorization covers both consumer and business vehicles.

Permitting such uses for Starlink “will expand the range of broadband capabilities to meet the growing user demands that now require connectivity while on the move,” the FCC said in the order. A spokesman for Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the formal name for the Hawthorne, Calif.-based company, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

SpaceX has been building up a  fleet of Starlink satellites  in orbits relatively close to Earth, blasting batches of them into space on its Falcon 9 rockets. The service is meant to provide users with high-speed internet connections with few delays, and had more than 400,000 subscribers around the world as of June, according to a recent presentation the company filed with the FCC.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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