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Ofcom ponders increasing spectrum for satellite services

Ofcom HQ.jpg

Ofcom says it is pondering a move to allow satellite operators to access more spectrum in order to offer broadband services to hard-to-reach areas.

The move would double the capacity available to satellite operators in the Ku band, meaning they would be able to use the full 14-14.5GHz band for their services.

This, the regulator says, will support better broadband for more rural homes and business while connecting planes and ships.

“As consumer demand for satellite services increases, we want to support innovation by extending spectrum access under our Earth Station Network licence to include the 14.25-14.5 GHz band,” the regulator said in a statement released yesterday.

Going forward, this could also help connect road vehicles, trains and drones in more remote parts of the UK.

Consultation on the proposals is open until August 31, 2022.

In the same statement, Ofcom added it had received license applications from Elon Musk’s Starlink for six non-geostationary satellite earth stations.

“We are considering Starlink’s submissions, including whether they can coexist with other satellite systems in close proximity, and any potential risks to competition,” Ofcom added.

Regulators in Nigeria and Mozambique recently approved the start of broadband satellite services from Starlink.

And earlier, Musk announced on Twitter that LEO satellites would be deployed in the Philippines.