Digital Divide

Access to telecommunications is the key to ensuring that every individual has the opportunity to engage with the global marketplace and that each community can reach the potential of their human capital. In the knowledge economy, a gap has emerged between those who have access to communications and those that do not. Bridging this ‘Digital Divide’ will not just invigorate remote individuals and communities, but in doing so, it will also help to invigorate national and regional economies.

Rural and Remote Access

Those on the wrong side of the ‘Digital Divide’ are more likely to be in rural and remote areas; and it is here that satellites are uniquely able to provide a cost-effective solution. While laying cables or deploying base stations deep in the Amazon rainforest may be expensive and potentially hazardous, simply pointing a satellite dish at a geo-stationary satellite will bring instant connectivity wherever the dish is placed.

Satellite technologies provide more than just basic voice connectivity, but satellites are often the only solution for citizens to gain access to increasingly complex data services. Internet access at broadband speeds can allow people to exchange information and share experiences, becoming fully integrated to the digital world – all via satellite.

Cellular Backhaul

Citizens in rural and remote areas also benefit from synergies between satellite communications and terrestrial technologies. Satellites enable terrestrial communications service providers to bridge the gap between dispersed areas and expand service footprints irrespective of distance, geographic barriers or terrestrial infrastructure. Recognising the benefits that mobile telephony has brought to many underserved regions of the world, satellites can provide cellular backhaul, allowing remote towns and villages to be served by mobile technology, but without requiring large roll outs of base stations – often in regions where terrestrial capacity is unavailable, unreliable, too costly or simply not suitable for expansion.