The US telecom authority FCC has given Amazon permission (PDF) to launch 3,236 satellites. The company wants the satellites to offer broadband internet under the name Project Kuiper.

Internet via space must offer an alternative to locations where laying cables or installing masts is difficult. Amazon wants to make Project Kuiper available to households, schools, hospitals, businesses, and other organizations, the company said in a blog post.

The satellites should hover at an altitude of 590 km, 610 km and 630 km above the Earth. The satellites must offer Internet in the area between the northern and southern latitudes of 56 degrees. Roughly speaking, this is the area between the southern border of Sweden and the southernmost point of Chile and Argentina.

Amazon says it has to launch at least 578 satellites in order to offer the first internet connections. The company plans to launch the full constellation of 3,236 satellites in five phases.

Amazon announced Project Kuiper in the spring of 2019. The project is named after the Dutch astronomer Gerard Kuiper (1905 - 1973). The Kuiper Belt, an area full of ice objects behind Neptune, is named after him. He also discovered Nereid, one of the planet's fourteen known moons.