UPDATE OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture of OneWeb and Airbus, yesterday opened what the companies say is, “the world’s first high-volume, high-speed advanced satellite production facility designed to bring transformative internet connectivity to everyone, everywhere.” The event drew officials including U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, and Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Manisha Singh.
“OneWeb Satellites and its partners are transforming the satellite and space industry.
By producing high quality satellites at a fraction of the cost and schedule of traditional manufacturers, we are not only enabling OneWeb to connect the planet, we are making space dramatically more accessible to everyone,” said OneWeb Satellites CEO Tony Gingiss.
The facility’s production capabilities will first support the rapid scaling of the OneWeb network, starting with a constellation of 650 satellites and scaling to 1,980 satellites that propose to deliver global connectivity. The 105,500 square foot production facility, which has two production lines capable of producing two satellites a day, is a new addition to Florida’s “Space Coast,” providing 250 new high-tech jobs and 3,000 indirect jobs through the supply chain.
Gingiss said with half the world’s population unconnected, and inconsistent connectivity persisting as people travel more at sea and in the skies, the high-performance communication satellites built in this facility will enable high-speed internet access that can unlock healthcare, education, and economic advancements.
Promoting innovative technologies is key to closing the digital divide, said Pai. “Satellite constellations have the ability to deliver broadband services using a new generation of low-Earth orbit satellite technologies. That’s why the FCC, under my leadership, approved OneWeb’s proposal and why I was pleased to attend the opening of OneWeb Satellite’s production facility. At the FCC, we’ll continue our work to make access to high-speed internet available across the country.”
July 23, 2019