OneWeb lands US FCC approval to bring satellite internet to consumers

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OneWeb has managed to land US FCC approval for its satellite based broadband Internet for the masses that will see low-cost lag-free and ultra-fast internet being offered to smartphones and PCs across the US without need of any wires.

While Facebook, Google and SpaceX have all tried their hands in the satellite internet market, OneWeb has managed to beat everyone and garnered the first ever approval from the US FCC for establishing a satellite-based network that will offer Internet to users in the US.

The new service is being seen as a predecessor to already established O3b Networks that is already offering high-speed internet with speeds of up to 1 Gbps using just 12 satellites orbiting at about 5,000 miles above Earth. However, lag is an issue and to reduce lag the solution is to have more satellites in orbit at low-Earth orbit.

Greg Wyler’s new network will be based on a fleet of 720 satellites, all orbiting the earth at an altitude of roughly 745 miles. The first satellites would launch next year, and service could start as early as 2019. If Wyler and team is able to turn this into a reality, it will benefit Americans nationwide by providing broadband anywhere in the United States, particularly in rural areas where it can be difficult to provide fast Internet connections using traditional ground-based cables.

This next generation of satellite Internet service promises to reduce lag by bringing the satellites closer to earth. By placing them in low-earth orbit instead of geostationary orbit, Internet data will spend less time in transit – leading to a smoother, faster Internet experience.

SpaceX is also working towards establishing a similar network, but with as many as 4,400 satellites in low-earth orbit. It, along with 10 other entities, submitted plans to the FCC last year for approval. The FCC said Thursday that if those companies also receive approval, the government will apply exactly the same expectations to them as it is to OneWeb.

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