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OneWeb to launch fibre-like internet in the Arctic by 2020

Arctic satellite NEW.jpeg

OneWeb has announced plans to deliver its Arctic high-speed, low latency internet service, delivering 375Gbps of capacity above the 60th parallel North.

With service due to start in 2020, there will be enough capacity to give fibre-like connectivity to hundreds of thousands of homes, planes and boats, connecting millions across the Arctic.

“Connectivity is now an essential utility and a basic human right,” said Adrian Steckel, chief executive officer of OneWeb. “Our constellation will offer universal high-speed Arctic coverage sooner than any other proposed system meeting the need for widespread connectivity across the Arctic.”

Leveraging OneWeb’s polar-orbiting satellites with its high-speed and low latency capabilities will provide a high quality connectivity experience to the 48% of Artic currently without connectivity. Additionally, OneWeb’s Artic service will be rolled out earlier and provide 200 times more capacity than planned systems. 

“Connectivity is critical in our modern economy,” added Lisa Murkowski, US senator for Alaska. “As the Arctic opens, ensuring the people of the Arctic have access to affordable and reliable broadband will make development safer, more sustainable and create new opportunities for the next generation leading in this dynamic region of the globe.”

Once live at the end of 2020, with full 24-hour coverage being available by early 2021 providing blanket coverage to the entire Arctic Circle. 

As a region, the Arctic is a growing economic hub. Only last month, telecoms solutions provider Cinia, spoke to Capacity about its Arctic Connect subsea cable system. The 18,000km cable will connect Europe, Asia and the US.

OneWeb is already active in Norway and Alaska, where its ground antennas will be fully operational by January 2020 to serve the Arctic region. One of OneWeb’s first operational satellites in orbit is also named Nanuq-Sat after the Inuktitut word for polar bear and was named by children in Anchorage, Alaska.