In its SEC filing, the company notes that it is already pilot testing the delivery of satellite internet services to school buses traveling on routes that take 60 minutes or more to cover. The core argument is that not all students have access to internet services at home, especially those in rural areas or those hailing from underprivileged backgrounds. SpaceX notes that “Connecting school buses will afford students the ability to optimize their commute time for necessary educational internet use.”
With its SEC filing, SpaceX is pushing forward a request before the commission to make necessary tweaks to the Eligible Services List and include SpaceX services and equipment in its ambit. Depending on the outcome of SpaceX’s request, the company concludes that it “can immediately provide Wi-Fi on school buses.” SpaceX, however, hasn’t detailed if it will be making any custom antennas — or modifications to the existing models — to handle school buses.
However, getting the SEC’s approval won’t exactly be a cakewalk, and that mainly has to do with the fact that Starlink is still seen as a work in progress. The main argument behind tossing the SpaceX proposal for covering rural areas with government funding was that Starlink is deemed a technology in its development phase and that its services didn’t really meet the performance expectations.