SpaceX has asked the US for permission to deploy up to 5 million user terminals for its Starlink satellite-broadband network in the US after nearly 700,000 people in the country registered interest in the service.
SpaceX in March received a Federal Communications Commission license for up to 1 million user terminals (i.e. satellite dishes) in the United States. That would allow for 1 million homes to receive the service, but SpaceX now wants to quintuple that number.
"SpaceX Services requests this increase in authorized units due to the extraordinary demand for access to the Starlink non-geostationary orbit satellite system," the company told the FCC in a license-change request on Friday. "Despite the fact that SpaceX has yet to formally advertise this system's services, nearly 700,000 individuals represented in all 50 states signed up over a matter of just days to register their interest in said services at www.starlink.com. To ensure that SpaceX is able to accommodate the apparent demand for its broadband Internet access service, SpaceX Services requests a substantial increase in the number of authorized units."
SpaceX added the signup form to the Starlink website in mid-June. It asks people to enter their email and street address to "get updates on Starlink news and service availability in your area." SpaceX has said it will offer beta access in the fall of this year to prepare for a full commercial launch.