UK trains could benefit from high-speed satellite broadband service

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Ofcom is exploring the possibility of allowing a new high-speed satellite-based broadband system onboard trains, planes and ships in the UK.

The regulator has launched a consultation into the use of Earth Stations on Mobile Platforms (ESOMP) over the current slower FSS networks.

Technological advances mean it is now possible to fix an antenna to a fast moving vehicle, such as a train, that is accurate enough to track a satellite.

In the consultation document, Ofcom said: “When the ESOMP is combined with on-board access technology, it will allow consumers who are travelling to have broadband connectivity over wide territories where other technology is not available.”

Ofcom is planning to release another statement about the proposals in December and, depending on the response, could authorise ESOMPs as early as the start of 2014.

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