Can satellites help bridge the digital divide?

January 09, 2004

The French Senate and ESA are to hold a colloquium this month on "Satellites and Bridging the Digital Divide".

They will evaluate the potential role of satellite systems in achieving nationwide digital access and assess Europe's on-going efforts to accomplish this.

Bridging the digital divide is a challenge that must be addressed for the future development of Europe's regions. No commercially-viable solution has yet been found to provide online access to those citizens isolated by natural obstacles, living in scattered rural communities or on the outlying periphery of the European Union. Moreover, the arrival of ten new EU member countries may well add to an already uneven spread of digital access.

The colloquium will address questions like: "Can space-based infrastructures provide the most appropriate solution to narrow the gap?" Terrestrial infrastructures are affected by population density or low-level economic activity. Satellite systems, however, guarantee uniform coverage over a given area; within this area, all potential users enjoy the same access to services and the same quality of service. TV broadcasting is a practical illustration of this.

It is therefore important to determine if satellites can provide a technically appropriate solution. Most digitally deprived localities also tend to be the least densely populated so issues related to financing become highly relevant. The colloquium may clarify whether financing digitally deprived areas will become part of the European strategy for space.

The colloquium will be on 22 January 2004 at the French Senate (Palais du Luxembourg) in Paris, France.

European Space Agency

Related Satellites Articles from Brightsurf:

Satellites have drastically changed how we forecast hurricanes
The powerful hurricane that struck Galveston, Texas on September 8, 1900, killing an estimated 8,000 people and destroying more than 3,600 buildings, took the coastal city by surprise.

Spotting air pollution with satellites, better than ever before
Researchers from Duke University have devised a method for estimating the air quality over a small patch of land using nothing but satellite imagery and weather conditions.

New patented invention stabilizes, rotates satellites
Many satellites are in space to take photos. But a vibrating satellite, like a camera in shaky hands, can't get a sharp image.

Satellite broken? Smart satellites to the rescue
The University of Cincinnati is developing robotic networks that can work independently but collaboratively on a common task.

Combining satellites, radar provides path for better forecasts
Every minute counts when it comes to predicting severe weather.

Satellites are key to monitoring ocean carbon
Satellites now play a key role in monitoring carbon levels in the oceans, but we are only just beginning to understand their full potential.

New safer, inexpensive way to propel small satellites
A team at Purdue University has developed a new safer and inexpensive way to propel small satellites.

New developments with Chinese satellites over the past decade
To date, 17 Chinese self-developed FengYun (FY) meteorological satellites have been launched, which are widely applied in weather analysis, numerical weather forecasting and climate prediction, as well as environment and disaster monitoring.

First detection of rain over the ocean by navigation satellites
In order to analyse climate change or provide information about natural hazards, it is important to gather knowledge about the rain.

Earth's dust cloud satellites confirmed
A team of Hungarian astronomers and physicists may have confirmed two elusive clouds of dust, in semi-stable points just 400,000 kilometres from Earth.

Read More: Satellites News and Satellites Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to