On Tuesday, as part of a push to reduce Europe’s reliance on foreign companies and secure key communications services and surveillance data against outside interference, the European Commission unveiled a $6.8 billion satellite communications plan.
The aim of the EU proposal was to build and operate a space-based state-of-the-art connectivity system, improve the resilience of EU telecommunication infrastructures, and help counter cyber and electromagnetic threats. The program is set to be launched next year by the EU.
In a statement, EU industry chief Thierry Breton said, “Our new connectivity infrastructure will deliver high-speed internet access, serve as a back-up to our current internet infrastructure, increase our resilience and cyber security, and provide connectivity to the whole of Europe and Africa”.
In the aftermath of the Russian and Chinese advances in outer space and an increase in satellite launches, this step was taken. The exponential growth of satellites and debris caused by commercial operators like SpaceX and its Starlink network has also contributed to a fast-growing satellite population.
Six billion euros will be provided by a 2.4 billion euro contribution from the EU from 2022-2027, as well as by countries in the EU, the European Space Agency, and private investments.
Meanwhile, NASA raises concerns regarding the SpaceX satellite deployment plan.