Satellite Internet companies OneWeb and SpaceX are competing for lucrative deals to provide broadband internet to Earth’s northernmost latitudes, as OneWeb’s launch of 36 satellites this week brought it closer to its goal of broadcasting the internet to the region by the end of the year. Subsidiary of SpaceX, which is already providing internet to thousands of consumers through a pilot program, to the same region.
According to the Verge, there are billions of dollars competing for companies that can connect the region. The Arctic is nearly a broadband space for the US military, and the UK is ready to spend large sums to connect rural areas to the Internet.
SpaceX is said to be eyeing a large portion of the UK’s $ 6.9 billion new Project Gigabit program, which aims to provide fast broadband internet to areas where internet access is not available.
OneWeb’s chief of government affairs, Chris McLaughlin, said the company is also in talks with the program, and OneWeb, a UK-based company, believes it has an edge in this race.
McLaughlin ignored the entry of Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, into the UK’s rural internet program, saying, “We’ve also had conversations with UK Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman, about what can be done with OneWeb.”
OneWeb hopes to be able to restore confidence in the UK government ”in its bid to gain support for the rural Internet.
OneWeb has not released user terminal designs or monthly pricing plans, and its planned suite of 648 satellites is much smaller than SpaceX, and competition is still on its way to see who will win the contracts to provide internet in this region.