UK overly focused on terrestrial broadband: SES

by Staff Reporter | July 15th, 2013

Patrick Biewer, MD of SES Broadband Services

Patrick Biewer, MD of SES Broadband Services, has said the recent criticism of rural broadband in the UK by the National Audit Office is overly focussed on terrestrial solutions, and that 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,” says 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.”

SES has invested heavily in high-performance satellite capacity for broadband services, with the launch of Astra 2F late last year, which is soon to be joined by Astra 2E to 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 (USD 20) per month.

Michael Locke, MD of Satellite Internet, one of the ISPs offering these services to the UK market, adds: “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.”

Patrick Biewer, MD of SES Broadband Services, has said the recent criticism of rural broadband in the UK by the National Audit Office is overly focussed on terrestrial solutions, and that 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,” says 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.”

SES has invested heavily in high-performance satellite capacity for broadband services, with the launch of Astra 2F late last year, which is soon to be joined by Astra 2E to 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 (USD 20) per month.

Michael Locke, MD of Satellite Internet, one of the ISPs offering these services to the UK market, adds: “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.”

 

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