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Amazon hasn't launched one internet satellite yet, but it's now planning a fleet of 7,774
Saturday, 06 November 2021 09:44

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Low Earth orbit is going to be chockablock with broadband-beaming birds


Amazon wants to launch another 4,538 satellites to provide wireless broadband internet under Project Kuiper, according to a fresh filing to America's communications watchdog.

The mega-corp was previously approved to send 3,236 birds into low Earth orbit by 2029. Now, it wants to expand that number to 7,774.

“Kuiper Systems LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon, requests FCC authority to launch and operate a non-geostationary satellite orbit fixed-satellite service system as a part of Kuiper’s second-generation constellation,” it said in its application [PDF].

“Utilizing V-and Ku-band frequencies, the 'Kuiper-V System' will be comprised of 7,774 satellites in five altitude and inclination combinations between 590 and 650km, including two polar shells, and will provide high-speed, low-cost, and low-latency broadband services to tens of millions of customers domestically and internationally.”

The latest FCC request is the second one Amazon has filed this week. On Monday, it unveiled plans to lob two prototype satellites into orbit by Q4 2022 to test their broadband capabilities ahead of deploying the full Kuiper network.

"There is no substitute for in-orbit testing, and we expect to learn a lot given the complexity and risk of operating in such a challenging environment," enthused Rajeev Badyal, vice president of technology for the project. "We can’t wait to get started."

There’s good reason to be hasty, however, considering competition is heating up. Rival SpaceX already has a head start with about 1,700 sats circling our planet and wants to launch tens of thousands more.

On Wednesday the FCC approved Boeing’s application [PDF] to eventually launch 147 satellites to provide data services to America, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. And on Friday the UK government-backed OneWeb unveiled plans for another 648 satellites of their own, already nicknamed Brexit Broadband by some.

Orbital upstarts are getting in on the scene, too. Launch vehicle startup Astra has applied for approval to launch up to 13,620 satellites. These will be “supported by a global network of gateway earth stations” to transmit and receive V-band frequencies to supply broadband internet for customers mostly in the US [PDF].

Low Earth orbit looks like it could get very crowded, indeed. ®

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Low Earth orbit is going to be chockablock with broadband-beaming birds


Amazon wants to launch another 4,538 satellites to provide wireless broadband internet under Project Kuiper, according to a fresh filing to America's communications watchdog.

The mega-corp was previously approved to send 3,236 birds into low Earth orbit by 2029. Now, it wants to expand that number to 7,774.

“Kuiper Systems LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon, requests FCC authority to launch and operate a non-geostationary satellite orbit fixed-satellite service system as a part of Kuiper’s second-generation constellation,” it said in its application [PDF].

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The latest FCC request is the second one Amazon has filed this week. On Monday, it unveiled plans to lob two prototype satellites into orbit by Q4 2022 to test their broadband capabilities ahead of deploying the full Kuiper network.

"There is no substitute for in-orbit testing, and we expect to learn a lot given the complexity and risk of operating in such a challenging environment," enthused Rajeev Badyal, vice president of technology for the project. "We can’t wait to get started."

There’s good reason to be hasty, however, considering competition is heating up. Rival SpaceX already has a head start with about 1,700 sats circling our planet and wants to launch tens of thousands more.

On Wednesday the FCC approved Boeing’s application [PDF] to eventually launch 147 satellites to provide data services to America, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. And on Friday the UK government-backed OneWeb unveiled plans for another 648 satellites of their own, already nicknamed Brexit Broadband by some.

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Similar topics


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Houston, we've had a problem: our rocket scientists don't entirely understand the nuances of software licensing.

NASA, of course, is more than just rocket scientists. It's home to software engineers and other technical types, as well as those inclined to maintenance, management, and administration, and other less storied roles.

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And better still, you won't need any new hardware, because it's repurposing something you already have but never use: your Scroll Lock key.

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The order prohibits the Californian semiconductor company from entering into "certain types" of exclusivity or loyalty agreements with customers regarding the supply of silicon for "devices that deliver television and broadband internet services." It also prohibits Broadcom from retaliating against customers who go elsewhere for their chip needs.

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Redbooks is technical prose created and published by IBM Garage. "We develop and deliver skills, technical know-how, and materials to IBM technical professionals, Business Partners, clients and the marketplace in general," says IBM's blurb.

A well-placed senior insider told The Reg that Chris Konarski, IBM veep of worldwide technical sales and lab services, informed employees working on Redbooks content that they would be redeployed from 1 November to support technical sellers.

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The FISC decides who the Feds can follow according to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

In a blistering dissent filed on Monday [PDF], Justices Neil Gorsuch and Sonia Sotomayor asked why the court would decline to review a case with "profound implications for Americans' privacy and their rights to speak and associate freely."

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With its usual impeccable timing, Microsoft managed to drown out what should have been good news for Dev Channel users with the release of KB5008295 to testers in its Beta and Release Preview Channels. The patch, which won't change the build number, was to deal with an expired certificate that left some built-in applications broken, even in the release version of Windows 11.

Unlike the patch pushed to production, Microsoft said the fix had dealt with problems with the snipping tool and other built-in apps, which still blighted the GA code, and also stopped the Start Menu and Settings app from opening in the supposedly super-secure S mode version of Windows 11.

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US authorities are dangling a $10m reward for information on the DarkSide gang, while Interpol says half a dozen people were arrested in Ukraine on suspicion of being part of the Cl0p extortionist crew.

The US bounty was offered last night by the foreign ministry, which said in a statement it wants information about "any individual(s) who hold(s) a key leadership position in the DarkSide ransomware variant transnational organized crime group."

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With smartphones these days acting as pocket PCs and users throwing almost everything at them, even gaming, manufacturers are challenged with creating innovative measures to keep the devices cool enough to hold.

Engineers can't start poking ventilation holes in them, and the thinness required of the devices makes the traditional PC solution of heatsinks impractical – although it is often said that the entire case acts as a heatsink of sorts.

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Yesterday, after Prime Minister's Question Time in Parliament, the political grouping once referred to as the Official Opposition to Her Majesty's Government confessed to the breach, insisting the "cyber incident" had resulted in unspecified party IT systems "being rendered inaccessible" – with the clear implication that this was a ransomware attack.

"On 29 October 2021, we were informed of the cyber incident by the third party. The third party told us that the incident had resulted in a significant quantity of Party data being rendered inaccessible on their systems," Labour spokeswoman Sophie Nazemi told The Register.

Continue reading

Source: https://bit.ly/3BL0Kih