Here’s why SpaceX and OneWeb just asked the FCC to forget all past disputes

As the number of satellite mega-constellations in Earth’s orbit continues to grow, companies will need to find ways to coexist not only in space but also across the vast, but limited satellite frequency bands used to beam information down to Earth.

SpaceX and OneWeb announced this week that they reached a spectrum coordination plan that would allow their current and next-gen broadband mega-constellations to coexist, stated a press statement sent to IE by SpaceX.

It is “a great example of our companies working together to ensure our complex systems are able to deliver the best possible service to our customers across the U.S.,” OneWeb director of communications Katie Dowd told IE over email.

But what does it mean exactly for consumers, and how will this agreement impact future satellite operations?

SpaceX and OneWeb collaborate for ‘more productive use of scarce spectrum resources’

The announcement was made in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in which both firms also asked the regulator to disregard any previous disputes either company had filed against the other.

“By working together and ensuring that first-round systems are protected, the Parties [SpaceX and OneWeb] have been able to drive more productive use of scarce spectrum resources for the benefit of American consumers and businesses,” the two companies wrote in their joint letter.

“Given this positive development, the Parties encourage the Commission to quickly approve each second-round system so that they may begin deploying these cutting-edge systems and offering even more advanced services as soon as possible,” they continued.

Though Dowd told IE that she could not discuss the details of the agreement, she said that OneWeb is “delighted by this achievement,” also stating that the teams “worked hard to make this happen.”

Why is satellite spectrum coordination so important?

In February, the FCC and the National…


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