Elon Musk’s Starlink showed the way, now the EU wants to follow suit. By 2027, 170 satellites are to be launched into space to ensure a fast and secure internet connection. The EU Parliament has just approved the multi-billion dollar plan.
Starlink alternative: EU builds satellite internet
The EU Parliament has a large majority voted for their own satellite internet. It should be in place by 2027. According to the plans, up to 170 satellites will be put into orbit. The first government offers should be expected as early as 2024, while commercial services are to be made available by 2027.
The EU is paying a total of 6 billion euros for the ambitious plan. Satellite internet is intended to complement existing broadband networks on earth, not replace them. The objective of the initiative, called Infrastructure for Resilience, Interconnectivity and Security by Satellite (IRIS2), is to: especially in the least connected areas to provide connectivity. Specific information on the expected bandwidth has not yet been given.
As a Starlink alternative, IRIS2 is intended to be a strategic autonomy and sovereignty for the EU guarantee. Operation and construction are planned as a public-private partnership, with the initiative itself remaining the property of the EU. Eutelsat, Arianespace and Thales Alenia Space could be potential partners (source: hot online).
Whether from space or terrestrial: This is how your WLAN becomes faster.
Satellite Internet: Economy should participate
The initiative envisages cost sharing between the EU and the private sector. A total of 2.4 billion euros is to be contributed via the EU Space Programme, Horizon Europe and other programmes. The remaining 3.6 billion euros come together according to EU plans through the participation of business.