In June this year Eutelsat, the European satellite operator, is launching a satellite-based broadband service for consumers. This will mean areas in Europe unable to receive broadband through a fixed-line will be able to connect to the internet. Eutelsat have said that prices will be similar to current broadband providers but it will reach areas that current networks have yet to be extended to.
At present when launched the service will provide ‘comprehensive coverage’ of Europe and the Mediterranean Basin and will include Spain, Germany, Portugal and Switzerland. Expansion of the service is in the pipeline which will result in additional network coverage.
The system developed with Viasat (who provide the satellite broadband technology) and broadband operator Skylogic, will use Eutelsat’s Hot Bird 6 satellite to transmit data. Skylogics central hub, based in Turin, will provide an access point to the satellite. This is excellent news for those unable to receive broadband, particularly in rural areas where network exchanges are too far to receive connection.
In North America where the service is already in use through WildBlue Communications, more than 100,000 customers have already signed up since its launch in 2005.