OneWeb and BT demo satellite connectivity on Lundy Island


BT hailed the deployment as a ‘significant milestone’, potentially opening the door for further deployments in the near future

Lundy Island is a small island off the north coast of Devon. Spanning less than 5km2, the island is home to 28 permanent residents, but is perhaps best known for its status as a Marine Conservation Zone and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Now, the island is set to benefit from low latency connectivity delivered courtesy of a partnership between BT and low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite operator OneWeb.

Connectivity across the island will reportedly be delivered by an Intellian dual parabolic terminal deployed on the island, which connects to OneWeb’s LEO satellite constellation orbiting above. The connection then travels from a User Terminal (UT) to Satellite Network Portal (SNP) via the satellites, where it is backhauled across OneWeb’s Wide Area Network to BT’s core network.

“It’s brilliant to be bringing high-speed, low-latency connectivity to Lundy Island in partnership with OneWeb and DSIT. The installation will not only have a transformative impact on the island and its residents but is also a significant milestone in demonstrating the value of satellite communications and the crucial role such solutions will play in enabling digital connectivity across the entirety of the UK and beyond,” said BT’s chief networks officer Greg McCall.

BT first partnered with OneWeb back in 2021, with BT CEO Philip Jansen promising the company would “put OneWeb’s technology through its paces” at BT’s labs before beginning live trials in 2022.

However, these field trials seemingly became delayed, with no further announcements made until April this year, when BT and OneWeb revealed they were planning this trial on Lundy Island as part of the government’s Very Hard to Reach Premises connectivity programme.

BT currently aims to provide high-speed connectivity to the entirety of the UK by 2028, saying that OneWeb will play a critical role in achieving this goal. Beyond connecting remote locations, BT says they are also exploring using OneWeb’s services to support eco-tourism, search and rescue, and temporary deployments like festivals.

OneWeb’s LEO constellation has grown significantly in scale in recent years, with its most recent launch in May bringing its total to 634 satellites. The company says just a handful more satellites are a required to reach global coverage, a feat that is expected to be achieved later this year.

Want to keep up with all of the latest telecoms news from around the world? Sign up to receive Total Telecom’s daily newsletter

Also in the news:
EU and Japan sign deals for subsea cables and semiconductors
Home Office lambasted over Emergency Services Network delays
Ofcom probes VMO2 as customers complain about contract cancellation

Recent Posts