The UK government's Universal Service Commitment can be met, and even exceeded, by using existing satellite technology, according to Eutelsat Communications.
The long-awaited Digital Britain report (PDF), published yesterday, promises to offer a minimum 2Mbit/s broadband connection to every home and office in the UK by 2012, and outlines plans for an investment fund to ensure that the services are available to the whole country.
"Eutelsat welcomes the proactive initiatives of the UK government to build an inclusive digital society, and extends an invitation to further discussions on how the 10 per cent of the population without access to broadband can be connected quickly," said Arduino Patacchini, multimedia director at Eutelsat.
Eutelsat launched its Tooway 2Mbit/s two-way satellite broadband service in the UK in April at a recommended subscription fee of £29.99 per month. The company expects to boost that speed to 3.6Mbit/s from the beginning of next month, at no extra cost to customers.
"In line with the UK government's commitment on next-generation broadband availability, we have already invested in a new satellite infrastructure which will be available later in 2010 and deliver speeds up to 10Mbit/s," added Patacchini.
Eutelsat claims that satellite technology can help to reach the government's goal of offering basic broadband accessibility, no matter how remote users may be, without having to lay expensive copper or fibre cabling.
The service is based on Eutelsat's satellite coverage, along with the commercial and infrastructure operating capabilities of its subsidiary Skylogic, and SurfBeam technology developed by ViaSat, which is already has over 400,000 users in the US and operates in more than 20 European countries.
Tooway also has the ability to deliver voice over satellite telephony services and IPTV services.
Eutelsat hopes to increase broadband access speeds to up to 10Mbit/s next year, following the launch of a dedicated satellite specifically designed for broadband delivery in Europe. The firm has not said whether it will charge more for the faster service.
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