Satellite Broadband

Satellite Broadband is recognized today as a necessary addition to technology options, especially in remote and rural areas. In Europe, for example, the European Digital Agenda has set a target of 100 per cent broadband coverage by 2013, recognizing that satellite broadband will be required to achieve this ambitious goal. Terrestrial fixed broadband network coverage stood at around 95 per cent in 2011, while satellite coverage in Europe is universal. By 2013, the entire EU population is expected to have access to some kind of commercially viable broadband service, fulfilling one of the Digital Agenda targets. 101

In the Cyprus Republic, the Ministry of Communications and Works announced in March 2009 that all villages in the country will be covered by satellite Internet access, in combination with Wi-Fi coverage. This combined service will be open and free to the people of those villages.102

In Colombia, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MINTIC) is using satellite broadband service to provide broadband Internet connectivity to more than 1,600 schools throughout the country's rural regions. Valued at approximately USD 18.5 million, the project is hosted by the Ministry's Social Telecommunications Programme ("Compartel") and the "Fondo de Tecnologías de la Información y las Communicaciones." It is scheduled to be carried out through 2013. The network is expected to connect schools located in five separate districts across rural Colombia, and is part of a national tender, covering 6,800 schools, which was awarded to seven operators. The programme is part of the Colombian government's ongoing efforts to reduce the communication gap and promote further investment in improved access to advanced communications services in schools. 103

As part of its nationwide “Genie” programme to modernize ICT capabilities in schools, the government in Morocco has also opted for a satellite-based broadband service to schools that are beyond the range of terrestrial networks. Morocco plans to include 470 schools, complementing ADSL and 3G network services across the country.104

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