Ofcom today announced a decision that will see passengers on boats and planes enjoy super fast broadband speeds later this year. The UK’s regulatory watchdog says the use of 'earth stations' (devices attached to vehicles and connected to a geostationary satellite) will allow for improved speeds over current methods of providing internet access.
"Passengers currently access the internet on vehicles using smartphones and internet-connected 'dongles,' or by using entertainment consoles on aircraft or WiFi on trains," Ofcom said today. "However, in remote locations – particularly on planes and ships – speeds have been limited by the technology so far available."
The regulator said that its use of a large amount of high-frequency spectrum, coupled with recent technological advancements, means earth stations are able to offer much faster speeds.
Ofcom expects to be ready to receive applications for licensing ship-mounted earth stations as early as next month. It is working with the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) to make licensing for aircrafts available around the same time.