FCC fines Swarm $900,000 for unauthorised satellite launch

By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Swarm Technologies Inc will pay a $900,000 fine for launching and operating four small experimental communications satellites that risked 'satellite collisions' and threatened 'critical commercial and government satellite operations,' the Federal Communications Commission said on Thursday. The California-based start-up founded by former Google and Apple engineers in 2016 also agreed to enhanced FCC oversight and a requirement of pre-launch notices to the FCC for three years. Swarm launched the satellites in India last January after the FCC rejected its application to deploy and operate them, citing concerns about the company's tracking ability

Reuters December 21, 2018 05:05:36 IST
FCC fines Swarm $900,000 for unauthorised satellite launch

FCC fines Swarm 900000 for unauthorised satellite launch

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Swarm Technologies Inc will pay a $900,000 fine for launching and operating four small experimental communications satellites that risked "satellite collisions" and threatened "critical commercial and government satellite operations," the Federal Communications Commission said on Thursday.

The California-based start-up founded by former Google and Apple engineers in 2016 also agreed to enhanced FCC oversight and a requirement of pre-launch notices to the FCC for three years.

Swarm launched the satellites in India last January after the FCC rejected its application to deploy and operate them, citing concerns about the company's tracking ability.

It said Swarm had unlawfully transmitted signals between earth stations in the state of Georgia and the satellites for over a week. The investigation also found that Swarm performed unauthorised weather balloon-to-ground station tests and other unauthorised equipment tests prior to the satellites' launch.

Swarm aims to provide low-cost space-based internet service and plans eventually to use a constellation of 100 satellites.

Swarm won permission in August from the FCC to reactivate the satellites and said then it is "fully committed to complying with all regulations and has been working closely with the FCC," noting that its satellites are "100 percent trackable."

Swarm co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Sara Spangelo said in a statement on Thursday that the company accepts the FCC decision "and appreciates the FCC's ongoing support for Swarm's mission."

Earlier this month, SpaceX launched three more satellites for Swarm on a Falcon 9 rocket after winning FCC approval.

FCC Commissioner Mike O'Rielly said the size of the penalty "is probably not significant enough to deter future behaviour, but the negative press coverage is likely to prevent this company and others from attempting to do this again."

O'Rielly said an initial fine negotiated by FCC staff was rejected by some commissioners, which led to reopening settlement talks.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Dan Grebler)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Canada will continue to stand up against Chinese human rights abuses, PM Trudeau says
World

Canada will continue to stand up against Chinese human rights abuses, PM Trudeau says

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday said he will continue to stand up against China's "coercive diplomacy" and its human rights abuses in Hong Kong and Xinjiang after being rebuked by Beijing for similar comments earlier this week. "We will stand up loudly and clearly for human rights all around the world, whether it is talking about the situation faced by the Uighurs, whether it is talking about the very concerning situation in Hong Kong, whether it's calling out China for its coercive diplomacy," Trudeau said in a news conference. (Reporting by Steve Scherer and Julie Gordon, Editing by Franklin Paul)

Young people in France: 'Don't make us scapegoats for COVID-19'
World

Young people in France: 'Don't make us scapegoats for COVID-19'

By Caroline Pailliez PARIS (Reuters) - Solene Tissot, a 19-year-old student in Paris, will obey the curfew imposed to fight COVID-19, but she has one request for her country's leaders: don't blame young people for the second wave of the virus. "There's been this kind of assigning guilt to young people," she said on Friday, hours before the new curfew was to come into force in Paris and major French cities. "I reject that." After a lull over the summer, the rates of transmission of coronavirus are going up in many parts of Europe and officials have identified social interactions between young people as a source of the resurgence.

Wider Image: Jailed Philippine activist lays to rest her three-month-old baby
World

Wider Image: Jailed Philippine activist lays to rest her three-month-old baby

By Adrian Portugal and Eloisa Lopez MANILA (Reuters) - Jailed Philippine activist Reina Mae Nasino wanted to hold her three-month-old daughter for the last time before she was laid to rest on Friday but she could not. Heavily armed prison officials guarding her refused to uncuff her despite pleas from her family and human rights supporters, who have decried what they described as inhumane treatment of Nasino and other mothers in Philippine jails.