Elon Musk’s Starlink Can Now Beam Wifi to Cars, Boats, and Planes

Elon Musk’s Starlink Can Now Beam Wifi to Cars, Boats, and Planes
SpaceX has launched more than 2,000 Starlink satellites to orbit as part of its internet megaconstellation. (Photo: John Raoux, AP)

Starlink just got the green light to expand on land, air and sea. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorised SpaceX to provide Starlink wifi to vehicles in motion, including semitrucks and RVs, planes, and boats.

The FCC announced its decision on Thursday, allowing the private satellite communications company to expand its recent deals with airline companies. “Authorizing a new class of terminals for SpaceX’s satellite system will expand the range of broadband capabilities to meet the growing user demands that now require connectivity while on the move, whether driving an RV across the country, moving a freighter from Europe to a U.S. port, or while on a domestic or international flight,” the FCC wrote in its order authorization.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been building out a satellite megaconstellation in low Earth orbit, with plans to launch a whopping 42,000 satellites to provide broadband internet to distant parts of the globe. Starlink is currently beaming down connectivity to parts of the U.S. and Canada, as well as New Zealand, some parts of Australia, the United Kingdom, and some European countries like Spain and France. But the company hopes to expand to the rest of the world by the end of the year.

SpaceX is also hoping to establish more partnerships with commercial clients rather than just sticking with regular consumers. In April, Starlink announced its first partnership with a major airline, Hawaiian Airlines, to provide in-flight Wi-Fi for free. Delta Airlines also began testing out Starlink internet on board its flights.

The FCC authorization will allow Starlink to pursue more commercial deals. In June, cruise line Royal Caribbean requested that Starlink be able to provide broadband internet on board their cruises. The company also introduced a portability feature in May that would allow users to carry their internet satellite dishes on the go for an additional $US25 ($35) a month, specifically designed for owners of RVs in mind. But at the time, the satellite dishes could not be used while the RV was in motion.