BT says OneWeb’s satellite broadband network is enabling it to provide “high-speed, low-latency internet connectivity” to Lundy Island in North Devon for the first time.
The deployment on Lundy, which is located 19 kilometres off the coast and has a permanent population of 28 residents, is described as “the first real-world example of how BT and OneWeb’s strategic partnership can deliver game-changing benefits.”
An Intellian dual parabolic terminal has been installed on the island, connecting it to OneWeb’s constellation of over 630 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites. The system also includes an indoor satellite modem to provide two-way data connectivity.
The connection then travels from the User Terminal (UT) to the Satellite Network Portal (SNP) via the satellites, where it’s backhauled across OneWeb’s network to handover to one of BT’s points of presence (PoP) in London. From the PoP, traffic is routed back into the internet or delivered into BT’s core network.
The project is being supported by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT).
BT says OneWeb’s network is “a crucial part” of plans to provide high-speed connectivity “anywhere in the UK by 2028”. As well as providing broadband connectivity to locations such as Lundy, the two companies are also trialling ways of enhancing mobile connectivity via satellite.
Greg McCall, Chief Networks Officer, BT Group, said: “It’s brilliant to be bringing high-speed, low-latency connectivity to Lundy Island in partnership with OneWeb and DSIT.
“The installation will not only have a transformative impact on the island and its residents, but is also a significant milestone in demonstrating the value of satellite communications and the crucial role such solutions will play in enabling digital connectivity across the entirety of the UK and beyond.”
Stephen Beynon, Chief Commercial Officer, OneWeb, said: “We are excited to be working with BT and DSIT across Lundy Island, as we deliver consistent and stable connectivity to its community.
“This project illustrates the importance of collaboration between OneWeb and its partners, to maximise the benefits of LEO solutions for rural and hard-to-reach areas. We look forward to continuing our partnership with government and the telecoms industry to improve access to connectivity services globally.”
Sir John Whittingdale MP, Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure, said: “This is yet another example of brilliant British ingenuity being brought to bear on our commitment to deliver a digital revolution in all parts of the country.
“Our Alpha Trials programme is bringing high-speed connectivity to some of our hardest to reach places, from Papa Stour in the Shetland Islands to Lundy.
“Working with OneWeb and BT, the island will now have access to high-speed, reliable connectivity delivered by satellite which will not only unlock new opportunities for residents, but also support ongoing conservation efforts.”