With high-speed satellite broadband now available in all 28 EU countries, Europe today reached a major milestone in its drive to bridge the Digital Divide. The opportunity of broadband for all became a reality with the launch of satellite broadband services in the Baltics, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania being the last countries to be added to a network of service providers across Member States.
Thanks to satellite-based broadband, delivering download speeds of up to 20Mbps and upload speeds of up to 6Mbps, EU citizens across all Member States who are on the wrong side of the digital divide can now join the online community, study, trade and access information as well as view high-quality video content. “The availability of satellite broadband in all EU member states is an essential stepping-stone for making a Connected Continent a reality,” said Neelie Kroes, EU Vice President and Commissioner for the Digital Agenda. The Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE), a flagship initiative of Europe 2020, calls for broadband Internet to be available across the European Union by the end of 2013.
Neelie Kroes was speaking at the European Parliament at the launch of a new website www.broadbandforall.eu produced by ESOA (the European Satellite Operators Association) with the support of the European Commission to facilitate access to satellite broadband services for EU citizens. At the event, entitled “Broadband for all – Towards 100% coverage” hosted by MEP Lambert Van Nistelrooij, participants were able to view the new non-commercial online tool that provides practical information to enable citizens to find a local service provider to supply them with immediate broadband connectivity irrespective of their location.
“The satellite industry’s substantial private investment in technology and service development is giving citizens access to effective and affordable broadband no matter where they live and making a real contribution to getting Europeans connected,” said Michel de Rosen, Chairman of ESOA and Chairman and CEO of Eutelsat. “Satellite-delivered broadband and broadcast services, unlike terrestrial-based services, can instantly reach even the most isolated communities and provide high volume data and video transmission to homes in urban or suburban areas where terrestrial provision is inadequate,” added de Rosen.
MEP Lambert Van Nistelrooij (EPP) added: “Bridging the digital divide and making fast broadband available everywhere in Europe today, without waiting for terrestrial infrastructure projects to be completed, has the potential to create jobs and give a boost to rural economies and peripheral areas in Europe.”
Neelie Kroes discussed with industry representatives, MEPs and policymakers what else needs to be done to ensure that every citizen can get the right support at local and regional levels to access satellite broadband. The latest generation of High Throughput Satellites has revolutionised the provision of high speed broadband services, increasing data transmission speeds and the number of customers that can be supported, whilst significantly reducing costs for end users.
Satellite technology has already been recognised and included in national broadband support schemes in Ireland, Wales, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Cyprus as well as many regions. The newest generation of satellites is also playing a vital role in providing communications for emergency services and administrations in the event of a disaster. For example, satellite broadband was quickly deployed to provide vital Internet connectivity to hospitals, emergency services and civil protection agencies following the earthquake that hit Italy’s Emilia Romagna region in 2012.
The Satellite Industry Association (SIA) today
announced that DigitalGlobe (NYSE: DGI), a U.S. commercial provider of high-resolution earth
observation and advanced geospatial services and solutions, has become SIA’s newest member.
SIA is a full-service trade association that represents commercial satellite companies as the
unified voice of the U.S. satellite industry on policy, regulatory, and legislative issues affecting
the satellite business.
“SIA is pleased to welcome DigitalGlobe to our Association, augmenting our current
representation of satellite-based remote sensing manufacturers, satellite operators and other high
resolution earth imaging providers,” said Patricia Cooper, SIA’s President. “Geospatial products
are increasingly important across both the commercial and national security sectors, and we look
forward to tapping DigitalGlobe’s expertise as the U.S. imagery satellite operator, as SIA
advocates for the U.S. satellite industry.”
“SIA is a valuable forum for the satellite industry, and becoming a member will allow
DigitalGlobe to have a voice on matters that affect the entire space community,” said Marcy
Steinke, DigitalGlobe’s Senior Vice President of Government Relations. “We look forward to
engaging with the Association on a wide variety of issues, including the modification of outdated
regulations that hinder the industry’s economic competitiveness.”
NSSLGlobal Ltd, the independent service provider of satellite communications, has announced the further expansion of their VSAT Ku-Band network to include an additional two satellite beams covering the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean region.
These two beams were active as of the 15th October, combining with the current VSAT coverage offered by NSSLGlobal, creating the world’s most comprehensive VSAT Ku-Band network in the industry.
Current and new customers on commercial vessels and Super Yachts will benefit from the additional beams which come via Intelsat’s Rugby based Earth Station.
The first beam utilises Intelsats IS21 satellite and is primarily aimed at the commercial maritime sector. The satellite is positioned 58 degrees West, with a large proportion of the beam covering the South Atlantic; south of South Africa across to Buenos Aires. This beam compliments the NSSLGlobal TL11 North Atlantic beam that is already part of the global coverage offered by the company.
The second beam, MID-IOR, covers the Maldives and Seychelles area with the primary customer base stemming from the Super Yacht community.
Sally-Anne Ray, Managing Director of NSSLGlobal, said: “With the most extensive coverage offered in the industry these new beams are another indication of NSSLGlobal’s commitment in providing a premium satellite communications service to our customers.”