Although the OneWeb satellite company is going bankrupt and a potential sale, it is made an application overnight with the Federal Communications Commission to expand its planned broadband Internet constellation to up to 48,000 satellites.
- OneWeb has so far placed 74 satellites in orbit and has FCC approval for a total of 720. had applied for approval for 1,980 satellites, however, increased this number just in time to meet a deadline for revised submissions.
- Not so long ago, the London-based company had sought to start limited service in the Arctic this year. However, one of the major donors, the Japanese Softbank Group, declined to make a new investment due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the company to file for bankruptcy protection in March. An auction of his assets, including his frequency licenses, is scheduled for July 2.
- In one statementAdrian Steckel, CEO of OneWeb, said the dramatic improvement in the constellation plans "provides long-term flexibility and ensures that we are ready for demand, future growth, and upcoming technological changes." The submission may also aim to preserve OneWeb's value for potential buyers or investors – including Amazon, which is working on the regulatory requirements for its proposed Kuiper satellite project constellation. OneWeb says it has "received great interest from parties around the world".