The European Union has finally come to realize that reliance on American and Chinese satellite communications networks is ultimately a bad thing. That is why the EU Commission wants Europe to launch its own satellite network, according to a proposal. If the proposal is adopted, the EU will initially provide 2.4 billion euros for this. The total budget of the satellite network is estimated at EUR 6 billion. The rest of the amount will come from individual countries, technology partners, the European Space Agency (ESA) and private investors. The intention is that the European satellite network will soon provide worldwide coverage so that Europeans everywhere in the world can have access to secure broadband internet.
At present, Europe is still dependent on ‘external’ satellite networks. Looking at the security risks, this situation is no longer desirable. The use of Chinese solutions, as with mobile communication networks, is discouraged by many security services.
It’s no secret that the Chinese, almost all “Western” intelligence agencies have argued for years, use such communication networks to spy on their merry way. Moreover, this is done with the approval – and often on behalf of – the Chinese government. And the Americans, although formally our ally, of course also have their own (espionage) agenda. It is an illusion to think that our Western allies are more Catholic than the Pope.
Three times is a charm
The initiator and driving force behind the proposal for a European satellite network is European Commissioner Thierry Breton. However, two previous proposals were voted down. However, there is a good chance that his third proposal will pass. At least that’s what an EU official told the Financial Times.
In the meantime, concerns are also rising about the number of satellites that may still be launched into space in the coming years if three or more satellite networks with global coverage are rolled out. For that alone, many tens of thousands of satellites are needed. This crowding increases the risk of accidents. For example, the Chinese space station was almost hit by Starlink satellites twice last year.