The FCC gave Boeing approval Wednesday to join the race to build a satellite internet constellation, finally gaining the federal go-ahead to launch satellites in competition with Elon Musk's SpaceX and Amazon's Project Kuiper.
"Boeing plans to provide broadband and communications services for residential, commercial, institutional, governmental, and professional users in the United States and globally," according to the FCC press release.
SpaceX and Amazon have been warring over federal approvals for their competing satellite programs, each accusing the other of designing plans that would interfere with each other's constellations and asking for federal intervention. SpaceX has already launched more than 1,000 low-earth orbit satellites, while Amazon recently announced that it plans to deploy its first few test satellites in early 2022.
"It does not serve the public to hamstring Starlink today for an Amazon satellite system that is at best several years away from operation," SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted in January 2021. Musk also asked the FCC to limit approval on Boeing's plan in 2019 with a similar argument, claiming that the proposed satellite construction would interfere with SpaceX's models already in orbit.