BT looks to the sky for digital divide solution

BT has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with London-based low orbit satellite operator OneWeb to explore how satellite technology could be used to bridge the digital divide which threatens to skew the UK’s digital recovery and put rural and hard to reach communities on the backfoot.

BT and OneWeb will explore how satellite technology might support improved capacity, mobile resilience, backhaul and coverage, including Fixed Wireless Access in hard-to-reach areas.

They will also consider opportunities to deliver OneWeb’s connectivity services from low Earth orbit to businesses and communities around the UK, as well as identifying collaboration opportunities to develop new services beyond UK’s shores for BT’s global customers.

Philip Jansen (pictured), Chief Executive, BT, said: “Our ambitious full fibre and mobile commitments have put BT at the forefront of efforts to expand digital connectivity across the UK.

“It is clear that greater partnership is needed, both with Government and within industry, to ensure connectivity can reach every last corner of the country. Our agreement with OneWeb is an important step to understanding how that goal could be achieved in the future.”

OneWeb’s Chief Executive Officer, Neil Masterson, said: “This partnership is a huge sign of progress in the resilience and advancement of the overall telecom infrastructure in the UK.

“OneWeb’s network will be a vital means for bridging the last digital divides across the network and we are excited to be part of the solution with BT to expand the nation’s digital infrastructure.”


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