OneWeb Targets Government Business Broadband Market

OneWeb logo
(Image credit: OneWeb)

OneWeb, one of the companies looking to use constellations of satellites to provide competition to terrestrial and wireless broadband providers, is teaming with military communications contractor Leonardo DRS to offer broadband connectivity services to the Department of Defense, competing with the federal government systems businesses of cable broadband operators.

The companies will target “naval and maritime systems, ground combat mission command and network computing, global satellite communications and network infrastructure, avionics systems and intelligence and security solutions.”

Back in June 2017, the Federal Communications Commission unanimously approved OneWeb's request to use its constellation of low-earth-orbit satellites to deliver brodaband service in the U.S. (as part of a global operation), including particularly hard-to-reach and expensive-to-reach rural areas. That came after FCC chairman Ajit Pai proposed approving it as a way to help close the digital divide and promote private-sector investment.

The FCC subsequently approved similar plans by SpaceX, SpaceNorway, Kepler and Theia Holdings.

OneWeb, which filed for bankruptcy in 2020, earlier this year said it has more than $1 billion in launch insurance as it continues to build out its low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite system.

OneWeb investors have included Qualcomm, Virgin Group and Hughes Electronics — Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and Qualcomm executive chairman Paul Jacobs were initially members of the board.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.