EC to examine European LEO system

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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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