Eutelsat and its partners launch satellite broadband in France for 35 euros per month

On 2 February, Eutelsat Communications and its first partners, Numeo and Sat2Way, announced the immediate launch in France of broadband access at no more than 35 euros a month, equipment included.

This new initiative is consistent with Action No. 1 of the “Digital France 2012” Plan announced by the French government in October 2008, which aims to foster the emergence of broadband offers by 1 January 2010 so that all homes in France are guaranteed access to broadband at reasonable cost and irrespective of their location.

The satellite broadband solution proposed by Eutelsat and its partners is based on the Tooway service which delivers downlink speeds to user PCs of 2 Mbps and speeds from the user on the transmit side of 384 kbps. To access Tooway, users require a dish and modem which are included in the monthly subscription fee proposed by Numéo and Sat2Way. With no requirement for a telephone line, Tooway enables homes to benefit from broadband connectivity at speeds equivalent to ADSL. Service providers can also propose complementary services, including antivirus and and antispam and can also build triple-play offers combining Internet access, Voice over IP and IPTV channels.

Tooway is an individual-access broadband solution for consumers and small enterprises, and can also be deployed as a cost-efficient add-on facility to extend departmental or regional telecommunications infrastructure to users beyond range of ADSL.

Elsewhere in Europe, Swisscom, Switzerland’s national telecommunications operator, the ISP Fastweb in Italy and Telecable and Distecable in Spain have already selected Tooway to meet the demands of users and authorities to extend broadband access at regional and national scale.

Tooway is currently available using Ka-band capacity on Eutelsat’s Hot Bird 6 satellite. In 2010 Eutelsat will deploy a new satellite infrastructure to support the service’s widescale deployment throughout Europe. Specifically dedicated to broadband access, Eutelsat’s KA-SAT satellite and ground infrastructure will offer consumers a broadband solution meeting evolving high bitrate applications by offering performance levels comparable to ADSL 2, with speeds to the user of 10 Mbps.