A new $2.8 million global operations center opened in Prince William yesterday for global company O3b Networks.
The operations center, located at 12811 Randolph Ridge Lane, is “an innovative new satellite operator that is connecting remote, otherwise inaccessible areas of the globe with fiber equivalent high performance bandwidth from the sky,” according to a release.
O3b has been able to provide IT and data communications services for war torn areas, disaster zones, and cruise ships, according to a release.
And now they’re basing the major hub of their operations here, in Prince William County.
At the ribbon cutting for the facility, O3b’s CEO Steve Collar spoke about how the building will help the company in their mission.
“The value of having this building is that we get to get together more efficiently,” said Collar.
One of the O3b’s biggest breakthroughs was creating Internet access for people on cruise ships, which was done in partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruises, according to Royal Caribbean’s Vice President of IT Operations Max Schmidt.
“This is one of many firsts we’ve had with O3b. We’ve worked very closely with O3b to invent maritime service, and we worked very closely together to develop the fastest Internet at sea,” said Schmidt.
Chief Services Officer for O3b, John Baughn, said that the facility works 24/7 with engineers, to manage their 45 customers around the globe. O3b’s new facility created 60 new engineering jobs in Prince William, according to a release.
“It’s very important that we’ve got a site that’s fully connected, fully communicative around the globe, so that we can talk on a minute-by-minute basis with our customers,” said Baughn.
Thai Rubin, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for O3b, who is a Virginia native, noted his sense of pride at seeing the new facility in his home state.
“We’ve brought people from all over the country, from all over the world in fact…as I was driving up [Interstate] 66 from Washington [D.C.] this morning, I saw the O3b logo on the side of the building, from the highway, and I was so proud,” said Rubin.
According to Jeff Kaczmarek, Executive Director of the Prince William County Department of Economic Development, more technology-based companies like O3b are deciding to locate in Prince William because of the county’s talent base and investments in infrastructure.
“We are so delighted to see O3b Networks here. It is a part of the technology growth we’re seeing here in Prince William County – especially western Prince William County. This is an area that is very attractive to innovative technology-based companies…and I think the fact that we have reliable power, fiber, and a growing community of technology-based companies is something that makes it attractive,” said Kaczmarek.