Satellite Services Overlooked

Patrick Biewer, Managing Director of SES Broadband Services, has said today’s criticism of Rural Broadband in the UK by the National Audit Office is overly focussed on terrestrial solutions and says satellite services are now more than capable of filling the gap.

“The truth is that there is a credible alternative for non-urban residents that want a speedy service without breaking the bank, but aren’t getting what they need via terrestrial networks,” said Biewer.

“One challenge that satellite broadband has never faced is geographic reach and now speeds and cost are not an issue either. We launched a new satellite late last year able to offer download speeds of 20Mbps to pretty much anywhere in the country. This is almost twice the speed of the country’s average 12Mbps revealed by Ofcom in March,” he added.

SES Broadband Services has invested heavily in high-performance satellite capacity for broadband services, with the launch of Astra 2F late last year soon to be joined by another satellite named Astra 2E which will widen the geographic reach yet further. The first Internet Service Providers (ISP) are already offering competitively priced fast 20Mbps broadband services in the UK using the new satellites at a starting monthly fee of just over £20 per month.

Michael Locke, Managing Director of Satellite Internet, one of the ISPs offering these services to the UK market commented on today’s report.

“The de-emphasis of the 2Mbps everywhere Universal Service Commitment means even after the delivery of the late superfast terrestrial network is complete, there will still be people disadvantaged. This is where satellite is perfect. Satellite can do 20Mbps everywhere right now, so if the government had adopted our satellite plan, this would already have been achieved,” he said.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine
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