Amazon Tells FCC SpaceX Is Breaking the Rules With Starlink

Image for article titled Amazon Cares About Rules Now That It Thinks Elon Musk Is Breaking Them

Photo: Mandel Ngan (Getty Images)

The ongoing pissing match between Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX reached new ranges of pettiness on Wednesday with a letter filed by Amazon to the Federal Communications Commission concerning Musk’s plans to expand its rising satellite tv for pc community.

“Whether it is launching satellites with unlicensed antennas, launching rockets without approval, building an unapproved launch tower, or re-opening a factory in violation of a shelter-in-place order, the conduct of SpaceX and other Musk-led companies makes their view plain: rules are for other people,” the letter reads. The doc was written by C. Andrew Keisner, the lead counsel for Amazon’s Kuiper Systems subsidiary—a longtime rival to Musk’s personal Starlink project.

In the race to launch low-orbit satellites, Starlink is clearly in the lead. The firm has already begun utilizing its community of roughly 1,700 satellites to supply web connectivity to tens of thousands of people throughout the globe through Starlink’s beta program, whereas Kuiper’s present plans are to launch its first satellites in 2023.

The driving pressure behind the present feud is that Starlink desires to throw up even extra satellites into orbit earlier than Kuiper has even gotten its foot in the door. Back in May 2020, SpaceX applied for a license with the FCC to launch one other 30,000 satellites at even decrease altitudes than its present set, to be able to enhance community capability. Amazon objected not long after, telling the FCC that SpaceX’s plan to encircle the Earth with satellites at two totally different configurations was “at odds with both the commission’s rules and public policy.” Elon Musk being Elon Mus, replied with a snarky tweet, adopted by SpaceX submitting its own rebuttal with the FCC final week. The letter basically known as out Amazon’s terrible behavior of dominating just about everything it touches, saying that Bezos’s complaints have been nothing however a “continuation of efforts by the Amazon family of companies to hinder competitors.”

Smash lower to this week’s letter, the place Amazon known as SpaceX’s response an “overheated response to an uncontroversial argument,” including that the firm appeared to favor “misinformation, ad hominem attacks, and a belief that it can influence regulators via social media” as an alternative of, nicely, staying on subject.

“This path will take longer and inconvenience many, but is sure to lead to the same place,” the letter reads. “The approach comes from a playbook familiar to any regulator faced with the unfortunate task of evenhandedly applying its rules to SpaceX: concede nothing, ignore rules wherever possible, and when all else fails, malign those that invoke them.”

In lots of methods, these alleged techniques may sound acquainted to anybody who follows the legal troubles dogging Musk’s fast-and-unfastened Twitter persona—however coming from an organization recognized for using tax loopholes, deploying anti-union tactics, and dangerous working conditions, Amazon’s arguments sound extra like asinine whining than the rest.

We’ve reached out to Starlink and Kuiper for touch upon the submitting and can replace right here once we hear again.

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