Satnews Daily
February 24th, 2016

Industry + Parliament VIPs Connect With Inmarsat

[Satnews] Parliamentarians and businesses visited Inmarsat to hear first-hand about the work they are doing to tackle the last mile problem.

(L-R) Lord Harris, Valerie Vaz MP, Baroness Neville-Jones, James Cemmell, Chris Locke at Inmarsat HQ exploring more about the last mile problem.

Photo is courtesy of Inmarsat.

During the visit, which was chaired by Canterbury MP Julian Brazier, the group went on a tour of Inmarsat’s facilities and heard from Chris Locke who is the founder of Caribou Digital, a new organization dedicated to growing digital economies in an ethical and sustainable way in emerging markets. The group also discussed what can be done both in the UK and internationally to increase connectivity as 57 percent of the world’s population currently remains unconnected and in the least developed countries 90 percent of people are unable to get online. The visit was held at Inmarsat’s HQ in London and was arranged jointly by Inmarsat and the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) as part of the IPT’s Industry Visits Program.

Commenting on the visit, Julian Brazier MP said, “The Prime Minister recently stated that access to the internet is not a luxury, it is a necessity in 21st century Britain. I couldn’t agree more. With an increasing number of business and basic services now digital, those without an internet connection will be left behind. I am delighted to see Inmarsat’s innovation in responding to this major issue and hear about all of the great work being done to connect the world and develop the conditions for prosperity overseas and in insecure areas.”
Nick Maher, Chief Executive of the IPT, said, “It was fantastic to see the industry, parliamentarians and businesses come together today to look at the important issue of connectivity. I hope that everyone will be able to take something away from today and I look forward to arranging future visits.”
James Cemmell, Head of Government Affairs at Inmarsat, said, “Although the last mile problem is often associated with remote and developing countries, it also affects the UK and it was extremely interesting to hear about the parliamentarian’s own experiences with this issue in their own constituencies. The work the Industry and Parliament Trust does in bridging the gap between parliament and business is invaluable and I am extremely grateful to the IPT for their help in putting this event together.”