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EU must move at speed on space broadband network

 The first priority is to fill in gaps in broadband coverage where ground infrastructure cannot reach, but later it will power services such as self-driving cars.

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The project will in some ways mirror America’s Starlink and the UK-Indian OneWeb networks.

Its scope has yet to be fully defined.

A consortium of aerospace and telecoms companies is doing that right now.

But EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said he wanted to get going on the idea as soon as possible.

“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 the 13th European Space Conference on Tuesday.

“To be ready, we launched a few weeks ago a study on a secure space-based connectivity system. The selected consortium consisting of European satellite manufacturers, operators and service providers, telco operators and launch service providers will study the possible design and development of this project.

“This will provide insights on the technical dimension, but also the governance structure, the financing, the missions, the exact scope. I expect their first feedback in April this year.” BBC News

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