OneWeb, US senator, urge FCC into act at 2018 request 4 1260 More satellites #Market_AccessJanuary 28, 2020
WASHINGTON — As OneWeb prepares to begin monthly launches for its broadband constellation next month, the company and a U.S. senator are pushing the FCC to act on an application filed nearly two years ago for 1,260 more satellites.
OneWeb, which is headquartered in the United Kingdom, does not need FCC approval to launch satellites, but views the U.S. market as significant enough to influence its constellation plans.
One of the company’s first customers is Alaska-based Pacific Dataport, which hopes to start offering OneWeb satellite internet in the fourth quarter of this year.
Pacific Dataport is also the anchor customer for the first of a new class of small geostationary satellites being built by Astranis, a satellite manufacturing startup.
Kaine sent a letter to the FCC on Dec. 4 inquiring about the OneWeb application.
“It is my understanding that [OneWeb’s] modification application has been pending at the Commission for more than 18 months,” Kaine wrote.
“Please be assured that all applications will be given full and fair consideration throughout this process,” Pai wrote.
OneWeb first applied for Ku- and Ka-band satellite frequencies with the FCC in April 2016, triggering a wave of 11 additional applications that included SpaceX, SES and Kepler Communications.
The FCC decided in 2017 that operators need to launch only 50% of their constellations in six years to keep their market access, with their constellations completed in nine years of FCC approval.
The commission’s prior rules stipulated having a full constellation in orbit in six years.
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