this is what we know about IRIS2

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When choosing a broadband satellite internet service within the European Union, you may in the future have one or more alternatives to Starlink and other providers. The Council and the European Parliament have just reached an agreement to promote its own constellation of satellites called “IRIS2”. This is a piece considered key to achieving strategic autonomy in the sector.

In search of strategic autonomy. The EU recognizes whereas, over the last few years, Low Earth Orbit (LEO) has started to deal with constellations in different countries around the world, while private operators within Member States have had difficulties accessing space due to to the “enormous financing that these projects exist”.

Faced with this situation, and to guarantee strategic autonomy, the Secure Connectivity Program has been launched, which will take advantage of the synergy of the public and private sectors to offer satellite internet from 2023 to 2027. From the EU, in addition to an important economic contribution, they expect contribute to the project with the experience obtained with the Galileo and Copernicus.

iris2

6,000 million euros for its own constellation. Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, explains that the project will mobilize a total of 2,400 million euros from the European Union that will come from the multiannual financial framework (MFF) 2021-2027. The rest of the amount to reach 6,000 million euros will be contributed by the ESA and private investors.

Shielding communications. Keeping communications secure, private and free from interruptions is very important for any country. IRIS2 (Infrastructure for Resilience, Interconnectivity and Security by Satellite), promises to offer a better connected critical infrastructure that avoids potential threats against terrestrial communication networks.

IRIS2 coverage will not be limited to the member countries of the European Union. As they explain, it will go further to offer secure communications throughout the European continent and “areas of strategic interest”, such as the Arctic and Africa.

Broadband for residential users. IRIS2 will not only serve to guarantee the communications of the member states in the event of natural disasters or cyberattacks, it will also have the mission of offering satellite internet to residential users. The European Commission indicates that the service will be offered throughout Europe through private actors that will provide commercial solutions.

At the moment there are no details about the characteristics and price of the service, but from the institution they indicate that it will be “high-speed communication services”. Regarding the monthly payment, they explain that the residential offer will be linked to the EU’s “Global Gateway” strategy that seeks to offer affordable rates.

Starlink just wanted to offer internet via satellite.  It turns out that it also serves as an alternative to GPS

There are still a few steps to complete. The recently reached tentative agreement still needs to be approved by the European Parliament and Council. In the case of the latter, the provisional political agreement will be submitted for the approval of the representatives of the Member States before continuing with the implementation process which, as we say, is scheduled for 2023.

There are more and more satellites in orbit. Whether or not this initiative comes to fruition, more and more satellites will orbit the Earth. Starlink’s second generation constellation could have 30,000 new satellites. Project Kuiper, for its part, expects to launch more than 3,200. This dynamic can be positive for communications, but the truth is that not all astronomers are happy.

Images: Erc X | European Comission

When choosing a broadband satellite internet service within the European Union, you may in the future have one or more…

When choosing a broadband satellite internet service within the European Union, you may in the future have one or more…

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