Starlink satellite internet access has spread to boat and RV, and now it can accompany your child on the way home from class. SpaceX told the FCC in a submit that it is testing Starlink on school buses in rural America. The project will keep students connected during long trips (more than an hour in the pilot), ensuring they can complete their internet-related homework in time even when broadband is slow or does not exist at home.
The aerospace company also backs FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel’s May suggestions to bring WiFi to school buses, and said it supports the regulator’s efforts to fund school and library internet access through the E-Rate program. To no one’s surprise, SpaceX feels it has the best solution thanks to its rapid satellite deployment, mobile dishes, and rapid service to the “most remote” areas.
We’ve asked the FCC and SpaceX for comment and will let you know if they respond. The pitch appeared just two months after the FCC removed the use of Starlink on vehicles, note that it would serve the “public interest” to keep people online on the go. This concept is not new – Google-equipped school bus for example with WiFi in 2018 after the tests.
There is no guarantee the FCC will accept SpaceX and fund the bus-based Starlink service. Committee denied SpaceX’s request with $885.5 million in support through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund and the company responded by explode the denial was “totally unfair” and alleged to be without supporting evidence. However, in theory, satellite internet service provides more consistent rural coverage than mobile data and Starlink competitors like Amazon’s Kuiper Project has not yet been fully implemented.
All products recommended by Engadget are handpicked by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at time of publication.