SpaceX is looking to provide students in the U.S. with access to Starlink internet service on school buses, according to a letter sent to the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday.
In collaboration with school districts, SpaceX is piloting projects in rural areas of the country to support students on bus routes that are more than 60 minutes each way and "predominantly inaccessible to other mobile broadband services."
"The overwhelming majority of the participating students will not have access to high-speed broadband at home," the filing states. "Connecting school buses will afford students the ability to optimize their commute time for necessary educational internet use, as well as time spent with family and friends or recreational activities."
According to the FCC, nearly 17 million school children lack internet access at home.
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In May, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel proposed using funding from the Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism, or E-Rate program, to equip school buses with Wi-Fi. The proposal would clarify that the use of Wi-Fi or similar access point technologies on school buses serves an educational purpose and that the provision of such service is eligible for E-Rate funding.