SpaceX Starlink is becoming increasingly widespread, offering access to broadband internet in the most remote corners of the world. Telecoms giant BT is reportedly weighing a deal with Starlink for a rural broadband offering in the UK.
The Telegraph reported that BT is in talks with Starlink over a satellite phone and broadband offer aimed at serving rural dead zones. The American space company has repeatedly proven its high capabilities in solving such problems. Before the deal is completed, BT intends to test Starlink equipment at its Adastral Park research center near Ipswich. The company aims to provide connectivity to hard-to-reach areas of the UK.
According to the report, BT initially intended to use the Starlink network solely to provide broadband services. However, it has now been revealed that the firm is considering using the technology to improve mobile signals across the UK.
Starlink operates a network of about 5,000 satellites in low Earth orbit. This provides high-quality coverage in the most remote corners of the planet in all weather conditions. If BT enters into a direct mobile deal it may need to obtain a special license from industry watchdog Ofcom.
Negotiations were currently centered around BT’s business proposal, which would allow the company to provide mobile and broadband services to remote sites such as oil rigs and mines, the report noted. However, it is expected that this technology will spread to consumers who cannot access the internet due to the inability to install traditional cables, or for whom communication towers are lacking in their area. Satellite technology is becoming increasingly important for the UK’s heightened connectivity.