OneWeb wins FCC approval for extra 1280 satellites
August 28, 2020
By Chris Forrester
The FCC has approved OneWeb’s request to deploy an additional 1,280 satellites to provide high-speed broadband services in the US.
The approval increases the number of satellites OneWeb can operate in the US market from 720 to 2,000, offering the company “greater opportunities to deliver satellite-based broadband services to the public,” the agency said in an order released August 26th. The FCC says its ruling will offer OneWeb greater opportunities to deliver satellite-based broadband services to the public.
OneWeb proposes to add a V-band payload to the 720 satellite Ku/Ka-band constellation previously approved by the FCC and proposes 1,280 additional V-band satellites operating at a nominal altitude of 8,500 km. “The OneWeb constellation will be authorized by the United Kingdom,” stated the FCC.
“The additional spectrum bands and satellites proposed in the OneWeb Petition would build upon OneWeb’s Ku/Ka-band Market Access Grant. Such additional capacity would enhance OneWeb’s ability to offer its proposed broadband services in the United States,” said the FCC’s order.
“We conclude that granting OneWeb access to the US market for its proposed V-band satellite system would increase competition for the broadband services proposed to be provided by such systems to American consumers, particularly in underserved areas, offer a greater likelihood that such a large system is able to fulfill its ambitions and deploy the proposed services,” the FCC added.
However, the FCC insists that OneWeb pay a “surety bond” by September 26th this year, and also launch 50 per cent of the proposed satellites no later than August 26th 2026 and complete the constellation by August 26th 2029.
“We are pleased to hear the FCC granted our V-Band application. The V-band is critical for next generation satellite broadband services. OneWeb looks forward to the future growth opportunities this approval will enable as we commercialize our spectrum and execute on our mission to bring low latency connectivity to communities, governments, businesses, and people in the US and around the world,” a OneWeb spokesperson said.