Feeds

Europe's broadband bird goes up tonight

Filling in the not-spots

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The Hylas-1 telecoms satellite is fired into space tonight, with the mission to provide satellite broadband everywhere in Europe.

If all goes well, broadband not-spots could be a thing of the past - for residents who can afford to pay the relatively small premium for the service.

The Hylas-1 is "mated" to an Ariane 5 rocket, which is currently sitting on a launchpad in Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

Hylas-1 has EU money sunk into it and the promise of (relatively) low-cost broadband for rural users resting on its success.

If the launch goes OK this evening then a cheap dish should provide something rather better than dial-up to anyone in Europe who wants it: it's not perfect, but it's a lot better than nothing.

Satellite broadband has been around for a long time, but requires a significant dish and an expensive contract. Hylas-1 should be able to provide 2Mb/sec to anyone in Europe with a 66cm dish, at about four times the price of ADSL.

Satellite broadband still suffers from a second or two of latency, long enough for the signal to get to geostationary orbit and back. This makes it unsuitable for on-line gaming and odd for VoIP applications, but a bird in the sky is worth a great deal, when compared to the pain of using a dial-up modem.

Most of the capacity will be sold through resellers such as HughesNet, which has committed to 50,000 connections through Hylas-1. Most will be businesses that like the reliability of satellite, as much as its reach.

Hughes provides satellite connections for shops selling UK lottery tickets, for example. A small proportion of lottery sellers use ADSL, but the majority rely on a satellite connection the lottery company can provide and fit without reference to local infrastructure. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.