Amazon has confirmed that it is working to start a satellite broadband service that will serve most of the world. The plans, first reported by GeekWire, went under the codename "Project Kuiper," the name referring to the icy asteroid belt beyond Neptune's orbit. They called for a total of 3,236 satellites spread across three different altitudes of low-earth orbit. The paperwork was filed by the FCC on behalf of Kuiper Systems, LLC.
Responding to requests for comment, Amazon released a statement through email:
“Project Kuiper is a new initiative to launch a constellation of low Earth orbit satellites that will provide low-latency, high-speed broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved communities around the world.
This is a long-term project that envisions serving tens of millions of people who lack basic access to broadband internet. We look forward to partnering on this initiative with companies that share this common vision."
The company's response goes on to say that the constellation would cover a range between the 56th parallel north and the 56th parallel south, a region containing about 95 percent of the world's population.
Its largest satellite ISP competitors have already flown dishes to orbit. SpaceX has two prototypes in the air and, according to CNBC, looks to launch up to 4,425 satellites. OneWeb, which has backing from Sprint owner SoftBank, has six satellites up and may have as many as 650 in the future.
No timeline has been established for when Amazon will have all of its dishes shuttled but, based on OneWeb cost estimates, the e-commerce giant could spend billions over the course of several years.