The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday granted approval to Elon Musk’s SpaceX to deploy a satellite broadband network.
SpaceX becomes the first U.S.-based firm to receive such approval. International firms OneWeb, Space Norway, and Telesat had received approval earlier.
The SpaceX decision represents “another step to increase high-speed broadband availability and competition in the United States.,” the FCC noted.
The FCC said the firms will “provide broadband services using satellite technology that holds promise to expand Internet access, particularly in remote and rural areas across the country.”
The networks will use what the FCC calls “a new generation of large, non-geostationary satellite orbit, fixed-satellite service systems.”
Other requests are being considered, the FCC added.
Reuters reported that last month FCC Chairman Ajit Pai endorsed the SpaceX plan.
“Satellite technology can help reach Americans who live in rural or hard-to-serve places where fiber optic cables and cell towers do not reach,” he said.
Reuters noted that Musk had announced plans for the satellite network in 2015.