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New government plan to connect remote homes and businesses by satellite

Megan Robinson
December 1, 2022

New government plans will ensure everyone can access fast and reliable coverage wherever

Some of the UK’s most remote homes and businesses will be connected to better broadband via satellite, announced the DCMS.

A new trial will see the extent to which satellites can deliver high-speed connections to some very hard to reach locations such as mountainous areas or small islands.

Remote premises around the UK will be installed with equipment that allows them to link up to a satellite orbiting the globe and benefit from broadband up to ten times faster than what is available to them currently.

These premises include a 12th century abbey in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, a scout camping site in Snowdonia, and a Lake District mountain rescue base.

Satellite technology 

Starlink will supply the equipment at the trial sites, but the DCMS are discussing the capabilities of other solutions and services with suppliers.

Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites will be used and they are closer to earth than previous generations of satellites, which means video calls, real-time collaboration and web browsing will be possible. 

Recent tests have shown that satellites in many locations can deliver speeds of up to 200 megabits per second, and the government will consider using satellite technology for rural areas following the trials.

Digital Secretary Michelle Donelan said: “High-speed broadband beamed to earth from space could be the answer to the connectivity issues suffered by people in premises stuck in the digital slow lane. 

“Ensuring everyone can get a quality internet connection is crucial to our levelling up plans and these trials aim to find a solution to the prohibitively high cost of rolling out cables to far-flung locations.

“We are also today kicking off plans for our biggest broadband build to date as we announce another £100 million is being spent as part of our Project Gigabit programme.”

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