The USA’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been officially asked for permission by SoftBank-backed OneWeb to launch an additional 1260 satellites. OneWeb already has permission to launch 720 satellites – plus spares and back-ups – into low Earth orbits.
In essence, the request is also more to do with the time needed to launch 50 per cent of the fleet.
The application to the FCC, made on March 19th, covers OneWeb’s intention to launch at least half of the expanded fleet within a 6-year requirement. Earlier FCC regulations required satellite operators to orbit all of their approved satellites within 6 years. New amended rules permit just half of a fleet to be orbited and “brought into use” in order to secure frequencies.