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Inmarsat has put its incredible pre-tax annual profits of 55 per cent partly down to a demand for satellite broadband.

According to the UK firm, broadband internet can be enjoyed via satellite from ships, aircraft and other areas where it is hard or impossible to gain fixed-line access.

Andrew Sukawaty, chief executive of the company, told the Daily Telegraph: "The demand for broadband services in remote places soared in the past year.

"It's becoming standard equipment for ships, news gatherers and aid agencies."

BT launched a satellite broadband service targeting rural communities in 2004.

The telecoms giant provides satellite access to E.ON, the electricity provider, on remote sites around the country which are used for wind farms.

BT Satellite Broadband Enterprise offers connection speeds of 2Mb to the hard-to-reach E.ON outposts.

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