Advanced Television

EC to examine European LEO system

January 14, 2021

By Chris Forrester

European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, says that he wants to propose his concept of a European satellite-based broadband network to the Commission this year.

First priority would be to use a European Low Earth orbiting (LEO) public/private enterprise system and use it as a ‘gap filler’ for locations with non or low ground-based access. The concept, however, is also reported to be targeting connectivity with vehicles including self-driving cars.

“My objective is to go fast. And therefore it would be appropriate that the Commission puts forward this year a proposal to the European Parliament and the Council so we can move concretely,” he told delegates to the European Space Conference. Commission Breton elaborated on this in a briefing on Dec 12, saying that he wanted the 9-business consortium’s initial conclusion by April.

As previously reported, the EC has funded €7 million for a study on the feasibility of such a scheme.

SES, Eutelsat and Hispasat say – in a jointly-issued ‘position paper’ issued on January 11th– that they are prepared to participate in an EU-wide LEO scheme.

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