From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joseph M. Reagle Jr.)
Subject: FCC grants first 'Internet in the sky' license
WASHINGTON, March 14 (Reuter) - The U.S. Federal
Communications Commission Friday licensed a company backed by
technology billionaires Bill Gates and Craig McCaw to offer
telephone and Internet services over the airwaves.
The license authorises Seattle-based Teledesic to build,
launch and operate a satellite system to carry broad-band
telecommunications such as Internet, videoconferencing and
interactive multimedia, the FCC said.
``Teledesic proposes an innovative satellite constellation
that will comprise an 'Internet in the sky,''' the FCC said in
It was the first such license the FCC has granted.
Teledesic is backed by Gates, the chairman of Microsoft
Corp, and McCaw, the founder and former chairman of McCaw
Cellular, which is now a subsidiary of AT&T.
``We are very pleased that the FCC has put this faith in us
to deliver on a global opportunity to bring high-quality
broadband communications capability to the citizens of the
world,'' Teledesic chairman McCaw said in a separate statement.
Initial service will begin in 2002, McCaw said.