A satellite communications network will be launched by the European Union (EU) by 2027. According to an agreement reached on Thursday between the European Parliament and EU member states, the IRIS2 satellite internet system will be developed. IRIS2 stands for Infrastructure for Resilience, Interconnection, and Security via Satellites.
EU agencies and private companies will contribute to the $6.2 billion cost of this project. The private sector is expected to provide the final $3.7 billion, with the EU providing $2.4 billion. Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the project was originally announced in February; however, talks were stalled by a financial dispute.
Renew Europe, a centrist political group in the European Parliament, said in a statement that “[IRIS 2] ensure the sovereignty and autonomy of the Union by ensuring less dependency on third country infrastructure and the provision of critical communication services where terrestrial networks are absent or disrupted, as has been observed , for example, in Ukraine”.
In the aftermath of the Russian-Ukrainian war, the EU realized the value of online self-sufficiency. After the battle began, satellite Internet proved to be very useful. Russia cut off Ukraine’s access to the terrestrial Internet as soon as the invasion began.
Tech mogul Elon Musk responded by offering Ukraine free use of his Starlink satellite internet service. In emergency scenarios, such as cyberattacks and natural disasters, maintaining a secure internet connection is the main objective of the EU satellite programme. In addition, the network will be able to open black spots in Europe, the Arctic and Africa and provide Internet access to isolated places.