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OnStar abandons satellite broadband in Europe

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OnStar Europe - the information, entertainment and communications arm of General Motors Europe - has pulled the plug on its broadband over satellite service.

In an email to resellers Orlando Bustos, chief exec of OnStar (Europe) Ltd, said: "From 10 October 2001, the 'Beam' service (broadband internet access via satellite) will no longer be offered by OnStar (Europe) Ltd.

"The business operations associated with Beam will therefore be closing with immediate effect," he wrote.

No one from Onstar was available for comment by press time.

However, OnStar's decision has infuriated the head of Scottish-based Strategic Marketing Ventures (SMV), the UK's first reseller of the service.

Fraser Hay said the announcement - received late last Friday - had come "completely out of the blue".

Hundreds of potential customers had registered their interest in the service although none had so far been connected, he said.

Mr Hay told The Register: "We are disappointed that our partner Onstar (Europe), the company supplying our satellite broaband solution, has ceased trading.

"We have already been approached by several satellite based companies wishing us to work with us, and are currently in negotiations for launching a new service shortly," he said.

The Beam service was targeted at business users with monthly charges starting at around £150. ®

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