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Satellite broadband operators have enjoyed a good time this year as their services have expanded throughout Europe, it has been claimed.

According to the European Satellite Operators Association (ESOA), the past 12 months has marked a "breakthrough" for the provision of broadband services by dish.

Speaking at the organisation's annual general meeting this month, ESOA Secretary General Aarti Holla-Maini said that satellite broadband is now a mature technology that has a significant role to play in reducing Europe's digital divide.

She also welcomed the European council's decision to make companies installing satellite broadband equipment eligible for funding from the EU Recovery Package.

"This will enable consumers, small businesses, farmers and public agencies regions to access funds to pay for immediate broadband connectivity via satellite," Ms Holla-Maini explained.

Earlier this year, the ESOA told its members that they can play a pivotal role in efforts to reach a target of 100 per cent broadband coverage across the EU over the next two years.

It also welcomed the European Commission's plans to invest €1 billion (£860 million) in broadband connectivity as part of its Economic Recovery Plan.

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