Feeds

Europe's broadband bird goes up tonight

Filling in the not-spots

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial
Umina trial also delivers 30 mbps uploads, but exact rig used not revealed
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
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
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
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
Google's so smart it's discovered SHARKS HAVE TEETH
Congratulations, world media, for rediscovering submarine cable armour
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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?