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People using satellite broadband

The UK and 20 other European Union (EU) member states have been instructed to take the steps necessary to introduce mobile satellite broadband services.

Under European Commission plans, a continent-wide mobile satellite service is scheduled to be launched in May 2011, helping to support a variety of communications services.

However, the UK is yet to implement the main statutory instrument needed to comply with EU law and support the European digital agenda.

European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes said member states should "urgently" take all measures necessary to allow the introduction of mobile satellite services throughout the EU.

"They have an important role to play in providing innovative services to businesses and citizens across Europe, including in rural or remote areas," she stated.

Ms Kroes added that the satellite technology would help make broadband available to everyone in Europe.

Last week, John Brackenbury, Chairman of Avanti Communications, claimed that increasing demand for broadband data is creating a significant market for satellite internet service providers.

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