SAT4EDU – EU-funded pilot project for satellite broadband internet access for schools launched
Today in Warsaw, in the presence of representatives of the European Commission, MEPs, representatives of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education and schools participating in the project, the European project was inaugurated SAT4EDU. The pilot project, which is being implemented by a consortium of companies led by SoftCream Software, will include schools in Poland, Italy and Greece.
SAT4EDU is a pilot of a satellite broadband project for schools in areas with no or insufficient internet access, funded by the European Parliament and implemented by the European Commission. The project launch event was attended by m. in. Ekaterini Kavvada, Director of Innovation and Outreach at DG DEFIS, MEPs: Andrzej Halicki (Poland) and Aldo Patricello (Italy), as well as representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science, the Board of Trustees and the schools participating in the project. The special guest of the event was prof. Krzysztof Meissner (UW), who inaugurated the project with a speech entitled “Time runs slower on Earth than in satellites”.
SAT4EDU Project oIt responds to the needs of European educational institutions located in so-called ‘white’ areas. white spaces. These are places in the European Union where, despite efforts, broadband Internet access is still not offered. Moreover, the chances of getting this type of service in the coming years are still low – most often due to low population density, demographic or geographical factors. Educational institutions in small and remote towns do not generate the demand to cover the costs of building and maintaining a broadband network.
Considering the difficult situation of white areas, The European Commission has decided to launch the SAT4EDU pilot project. This action will not only test the practicalities of satellite access but also provide a real assessment of such a project.
The project will provide broadband access to selected schools in permanently white areas.
- Installation of equipment (receiving and transmitting antenna, modems and routers providing two-way transmission);
- Provision of broadband access service through the consortium’s relevant agreement with a satellite access provider (e.g. The project has been implemented by a number of companies (e.g. Starlink from SpaceX or Astra);
- Connecting school computers to broadband Internet – with preference given to connecting the school’s local network in this way.
“We want the so-called. white areas can get access to the Internet, which should be a right, not a privilege.” – explains Robert Śmietanka, President of the Board of SoftCream Software and leader of the consortium of companies implementing the project. “We believe that equal access to quality content is possible, which is why the SAT4EDU project wants to really reduce the level of digital exclusion across the EU.
Such changes will allow equal opportunities for citizens, while taking care of the sustainable development of regions. Thanks to such actions, we can systematically reduce the number of white spots on the map of Europe and we want to implement such project under the auspices of the European Commission” – emphasizes Robert Smietanka.
“We have no doubt that satellite access can be an effective way to streamline, diversify, and flex the level of education at educational institutions.” – says Andrzej Halicki, MEP, initiator of the project. “It gives both students and teachers the possibility to search information resources on their own and allows them to use programs placed in the network, e.g. multimedia materials of lessons and educational activities especially in the era of the pandemic that not only Europe but the whole world has to face. Devices with access to broadband network will become a teaching tool, which is a great motivator, enabling effective education, and I am proud that a Polish company is implementing this project” – concludes Andrzej Halicki.
Participating schools do not bear any costs associated with both the implementation and maintenance of the service provided. Schools may use the access connection for everyday educational activities, cooperation in matters related to monitoring of the activities or preparation of reports on the functioning of the service. The project in no way limits the choice of educational content, which is implemented in accordance with school curricula in the countries concerned. The pilot project includes schools in Poland, Greece and Italy.