Arctic connectivity developer OneWeb files for Chapter 11


Global communications company OneWeb filed for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the US, according to a 27 March statement.

The company intends to use the proceedings, which will occur in US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, to pursue a sale of its business in order to maximize the value of the company.

The company has launched 74 satellites to date some of which would be used to provide Arctic high-speed, low-latency internet service to the region.

The effort to bring connectivity to this area would bring real-time vessel tracking and emission monitoring to the region which is now increasingly being explored as a new shipping route.  

OneWeb has previously contributed to the PTI Journal on this topic. The Technical Paper can be found here.

Regarding the company’s current financial situation, the statement said that since the beginning of 2020, OneWeb had been engaged in advanced negotiations regarding investment that would fully fund the company through its deployment and commercial launch.

While the company was close to obtaining financing, the process did not progress because of the financial impact and market turbulence related to the spread of COVID-19.

Adrian Steckel, Chief Executive Officer of OneWeb, stated, “OneWeb has been building a truly global communications network to provide high-speed low latency broadband everywhere. Our current situation is a consequence of the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. We remain convinced of the social and economic value of our mission to connect everyone everywhere.

“Today is a difficult day for us at OneWeb. So many people have dedicated so much energy, effort, and passion to this company and our mission. Our hope is that this process will allow us to carve a path forward that leads to the completion of our mission, building on the years of effort and the billions of invested capital.

“It is with a very heavy heart that we have been forced to reduce our workforce and enter the Chapter 11 process while the company’s remaining employees are focused on responsibly managing our nascent constellation and working with the Court and investors.”

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