When it’s complete, Starlink will be comprised of almost 12,000 satellites that will blanket the planet with a persistent internet connection. That should mean people in rural areas or other locations where more traditional types of connections are impractical can access a network with promised speeds of up to 1 Gbps.
SpaceX deployed two test satellites in February, and hopes to launch 1,600 in the next few years. However, the Starlink network may not be fully complete until the mid-2020s.
The FCC approved similar requests from Kepler, Telesat and LeoSat for those companies to also deploy hundreds of internet-providing satellites, which won’t exactly smooth concerns over space debris. Last week, SpaceX submitted a revised plan to place some satellites at a lower orbit than it originally proposed, in order to mitigate the problem.