BT and OneWeb sign rural broadband deal

Artwork: OneWeb could eventually send thousands of satellites upOneWeb and BT have entered into a partnership to find ways to bring broadband internet to remote parts of the UK as well as to those at sea.OneWeb is partly owned by the UK taxpayer and has hundreds of satellites orbiting low Earth orbit.It is adding to its network and stated that it will start providing services later in the year.OneWeb is competing against Starlink, a provider owned by Elon Musk who was granted a license recently.After receiving a license from Ofcom in November, Starlink launched a trial in the UK of its services in January.OneWeb currently has 218 satellites and will launch 36 more on Thursday, according to a spokesperson.OneWeb and BT will be discussing how to increase the speed at which people can access data from remote areas. They also plan to discuss how to improve signal and stop the phone from cutting out.They also plan to create services for BT's global customers.Philip Jansen, chief executive of BT, stated that "it is clear that greater partnerships are needed, both within and with government, in order to ensure connectivity can reach all corners of the country."OneWeb was purchased out of bankruptcy by the British government and Indian conglomerate Bharti Global last year. In April, Eutelsat made a significant investment.OneWeb will be working more closely with BT as the UK government manages the 5bn Project Gigabit, which aims at improving rural broadband coverage in the UK.