SpaceX Wins License to Operate Starlink in Canada

SpaceX has received a Basic International Telecommunications Services (BITS) license from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to offer its Starlink satellite broadband service north of the border.

“The Commission received 2,585 interventions regarding Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s BITS application. After consideration of the comments received, the Commission has approved the application and a BITS licence is enclosed,” Secretary General Claude Doucet said in a letter to SpaceX’s Bret Johnsen posted on the CRTC website.

Interventions are comments to the commission supporting or opposing SpaceX’s application, which the company submitted in May.

“The Commission notes that a BITS licence does not by itself authorize an entity to operate as a facilities-based carrier or non-facilities-based service provider,” Doucet’s letter said. “All entities who provide services as a facilities-based carrier must at all times comply with the appropriate regulatory framework, including the ownership and control requirements of section 16 of the Act and the Canadian Telecommunications Common Carrier Ownership and Control Regulations.

“Entities who provide services as a non-facilities-based service provider must register as such with the Commission and comply at all times with the appropriate regulatory framework,” the letter added.

SpaceX has launched more than 800 Starlink satellites into orbit. The company has been conducting a private beta test on its network. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said a public beta test will begin once 60 satellites launched on Sunday reach their orbital locations. That process usually takes two to three weeks.

SpaceX has received approvals from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch nearly 12,000 Starlink satellites into Earth orbit. The company has an application to increase the constellation by another 30,000 spacecraft to 42,000 satellites.

The FCC has qualified SpaceX to be among 386 applicants to compete for $16 billion in subsidies to provide high-speed broadband services to rural areas that currently lack it.