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BT & Starlink’s Communication

BT and Starlink are engaging in discussions aimed at enhancing broadband and mobile services in the UK’s rural areas. These talks are part of a broader effort to address connectivity challenges faced by remote communities, aligning with national initiatives to ensure widespread, reliable internet access. This collaboration explores the potential of using Starlink’s advanced satellite technology to fill in the gaps left by traditional infrastructure, promising a significant boost in coverage and service quality for underserved regions, thereby contributing to the UK’s goal of achieving universal connectivity.


The collaboration between BT and Starlink focuses on leveraging Starlink’s satellite technology to enhance connectivity in the UK’s remote areas. BT has initiated tests of Starlink equipment at its Adastral Park research facility, signalling a significant step towards deploying this technology for business customers. The initiative aims to serve sectors with critical remote operations, such as mining and oil rigs, by providing reliable, high-speed internet access where traditional broadband infrastructure is not feasible, marking a transformative approach to addressing connectivity challenges in hard-to-reach locations.

Potential Impact

Integrating Starlink’s technology with BT and EE’s existing networks could significantly narrow the connectivity gaps in rural UK areas. This partnership promises to revolutionize rural broadband and mobile services by employing Starlink’s direct-to-cell services, which are designed to deliver SMS, data, voice, and IoT applications directly to users. Such advancements could provide a much-needed boost to the reliability and speed of services in remote locations, where traditional infrastructure has fallen short, thereby enhancing the overall quality of connectivity for rural communities and supporting the broader goal of nationwide digital inclusion.

The Shared Rural Network initiative

The Shared Rural Network (SRN) is a UK government initiative, in collaboration with the four major Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), aimed at eliminating mobile coverage gaps in rural areas through shared infrastructure and investment. This project represents a significant public and private sector partnership, targeting enhanced connectivity for communities and businesses in remote locations. The BT-Starlink collaboration could significantly bolster the SRN’s objectives by integrating satellite technology to extend coverage further, ensuring even the most isolated areas benefit from improved mobile and broadband services, thereby complementing the SRN’s infrastructure-focused approach to nationwide digital inclusion.

Looking to the Future

BT’s collaboration with Starlink represents a strategic pivot towards leveraging low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite technology to enhance rural connectivity, marking a significant shift from its previous engagement with OneWeb. This approach contrasts with the efforts of other UK telecom providers, such as Virgin Media O2 and Vodafone, which have largely focused on terrestrial network expansions and partnerships. BT’s decision to test and potentially deploy Starlink’s advanced satellite solutions underscores a commitment to addressing the unique challenges of remote broadband and mobile coverage, by tapping into the high-speed, low-latency capabilities offered by Starlink’s satellite constellation.