Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station (opened in 1962) is a large telecommunications site located on Goonhilly Downs near Helston on the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall, England, UK.
Currently owned by BT Group plc, it is the largest satellite earth station in the world with over 25 communications dishes in use (and over 60 dishes in total) – they provide a significant proportion of Great Britain's satellite connectivity and the site also links into undersea cable lines.
Goonhilly handles communications traffic - around 10 million telephone calls a week, computer data, fax, video conferencing, telex from the Atlantic and Indian Ocean areas. It handles some TV pictures but not as much as it did a few years ago. It does NOT handle any military or weather communications nor is it anything to do with astronomy. The dishes are antennas not telescopes for looking at the stars.
The site is 160 acres with a perimeter of 2.2 miles round the fence. It is the largest earth station in the world in area of land and in number of antennas.
Sadly the whole site is likely to be closed in 2008 and many of the dishes may be removed and relocated. The famous "Arthur" dish will remain as it is a listed building.