Harness space for high speed net, say EPP group in the European Parliament

The European Peoples' Party (EPP) group in the European Party has called for more to be done to harness the potential of space for the internet.

Massimo Salini MEP, the European Parliament Chief Negotiator on the EU's Space Programme said the COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of secure internet connections.

"We all know how much broadband connections are important for our lives. With today’s announcement, the European Commission is showing that it recognises this”, said Massimo Salini.

Later this week the European Commission is set to publish a package of proposals on the new Space Regulation. European initiatives in this domain might not yet allow the EU to reach the moon, but they are key tools for European economies.

One of the Commission’s proposals is a new EU space-based global secure communication system. It is a space component for secure internet connectivity. "We must harness the potential of space for high-speed internet. This initiative holds the promise of suppling accessible high-speed internet access across Europe. It is timely and it is indeed a useful space application that will benefit both our economies and our societies", stressed Salini.

“It will also improve the strategic autonomy and resilience of the whole European network infrastructure by increasing the use of communication satellites. As Rapporteur of the Space Programme, I think that the delicate balance among different components found in the Regulation should be preserved. For this reason, the European Parliament will closely monitor the budget dedicated to the new space component, as well as its governance”, declared Salini.

Part of today's proposals is also a communication on Space Traffic Management. The intention seems to be to introduce a way of avoiding satellite collisions. It is a real risk, considering the current amount of space debris. More than 27,000 orbital pieces were identified in 2021.

“The importance of this tool is unquestionable, however a non-legislative communication may not be enough to effectively tackle the problem at EU level”, concluded Salini.

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