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Hughes Launches High-Speed Internet via LEO Network at Greenland Air Base

2 mins read

Satellite communications company Hughes has completed its installation of a low earth orbit network at an air base in Greenland.

The roughly 600 workers who reside at Thule Air Base are now able to access high-speed broadband internet for the first time thanks to Hughes and project partner the Air Force Research Lab, the Germantown, Maryland-headquartered company said Wednesday.

Brian Beal, program manager at the AFRL, noted that the connectivity experimentation in Thule proposes the legitimacy of LEO networks as a viable option for outposts whose remoteness makes easy internet access tricky.

“The residents at Thule have been thrilled with both the performance and stability of the network as they’ve used it to connect with family, friends, and colleagues around the world,” Beal continued.

Working in unison, Hughes and the AFRL reportedly overcame challenges of extreme climate — as the Thule base is situated at the most northern point of any U.S. military entity in the world — to realize the goal. They employed site surveys and consulted the base logistics teams to clear the environmental hurdles.

A team of Hughes engineers developed, implemented and launched the LEO network at Thule through the company’s OneWeb constellation of satellites. The set-up includes four antennae that bring in nearly 14 terabytes of data per month. 

Now, with the access provided by the LEO connectivity, Thule Air Base personnel can use the internet to perform experiments, video conference, stream video, contact friends and occupy virtual private networks.

In April, it was announced that in conjunction with OneWeb Technologies, Hughes will deliver low earth orbit data to the Department of Defense. This deal came about as a result of the company’s successful launch of the LEO communications network in Thule.

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