On 9th April, the signature of an agreement between the European Space Agency and the European Commission at the EU Digital Day in Brussels, marked the first steps towards what could ultimately become Europe’s “Quantum Internet”, which could connect quantum computers, simulators and sensors to distribute information and quantum resources. Plans to build a European Quantum Communication Infrastructure (QCI) are now underway.
At the Digital Day, representatives of ESA and the European Commission’s Directorate‑General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG Connect), in the presence of representatives of the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG Grow), signed a technical agreement to collaborate in designing a QCI. The combination of ESA and EC activities would optimise the provision of pan-European coverage.
Based on Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), a technology that uses the principles of quantum mechanics to perform cryptographic tasks, the QCI would consist of terrestrial network components and components in space, in the form of communications satellites.