Satellite internet can bring connectivity to the hardest-to-reach places

Interview/ Chris McLaughlin, chief of government, regulation and engagement, OneWeb


How does broadband internet from space have an upper hand over traditional service providers?

We are working with our partners to use a new dedicated class of low earth orbit (LEO) satellites that connect to user terminals on the ground, bringing cost effective, easy-to-install connectivity to the hardest to reach places. We are particularly powerful where fixed networks don’t, cannot or will never economically reach.

Beyond access, what are the use cases for this service?

LEO’s low latency, high bandwidth and wide availability will continue to drive new use cases. The demand for connectivity solutions and bandwidth is only increasing globally and that means more solutions are going to come forward to help meet global demand—connecting the unconnected, delivering more capacity to connected areas, providing redundancy and resiliency so communities do not have to suffer down time and loss of valuable access. Meeting these needs will take using all the tools in the toolbox and LEO is a key part of helping meet this demand.

Mobility markets like aviation and maritime are driving demand for more low latency options to complement the existing solutions. For example, using low latency to update charts and positions, delivering new features in automation and security, and increasing environmental monitoring and compliance in the air and at sea.

For cost-conscious markets like India, high rates may be a dampener. By when do you think prices and technology will be conducive to cross the threshold into mainstream acceptance?

OneWeb is working with our partners on solutions that will fit a range of budgets, because we know a new dedicated class of LEO UTs are needed to bring cost-effective, easy-to-install connectivity to the entire world. Advances in production and processing, as well as improved performance, mean that volume and pricing will continue to improve.