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Wireless broadband

Satellite broadband can play a vital role in ensuring high-speed broadband is delivered to every community in the UK, it has been claimed.

Avanti Communications, which owns and manages the HYLAS 1 satellite, believes the government should be looking beyond fibre-optic broadband, mobile and wireless networks as it bids to achieve universal connectivity.

Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, announced last week that the government needs an extra £530 million in funding to complete the national rollout of high-speed broadband.

But, according to Avanti, fully utilising new satellite technologies can limit the need to build expensive network infrastructure in rural areas.

In a statement to MPs, the internet service provider expressed the view that the government should not be looking to deliver subsidised fibre broadband to all.

The firm said this "luxury" would cost tens of billions of pounds, and is best achieved through the proper operation of supply and demand.

"The good news is that the British government has already partnered with Avanti to create a new generation of satellites which can provide up to 10Mb services to anyone in the UK today, regardless of location," it stated.

"Thousands of British families are already experiencing the benefits of the Avanti service, launched in April 2011."

The company expressed its willingness to work alongside local and national government to ensure that the neediest members of our rural economies get broadband services as soon as possible.

"Avanti is pleased to work with the new BDUK framework announced in May which will allocate specific funding for satellite services for the most remote two per cent of UK households," the statement read.

"We encourage all local authorities to prioritise this, so that the greatest need is tackled first."

Earlier this week, the UK Space Leadership Council called on the government and industry to support the adoption of satellite broadband services.

The body claimed that the success or failure of satellite broadband in the UK will be determined by "the acceptance of this new technology in the market and the take-up of broadband capacity".

At present, two satellites are capable of providing broadband services to UK homes and businesses – Avanti's HYLAS 1 and Eutelsat's KaSat.

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