State of Brandenburg and Eutelsat Announce Broadband Supply for Rural Areas Programme to Bridge the Digital Divide in German
State of Brandenburg and Eutelsat Partner in Initiative to Deliver Broadband to Homes via Satellite
3.6 Mbps Broadband Access for EUR39.95 a Month, Equipment Included, to Contribute to Bridging the Digital Divide in Brandenburg by End 2009
The State of Brandenburg today announced that it will include innovative satellite broadband services as part of its “Broadband supply for rural areas” programme to bridge the digital divide in the German state by the end of 2009. Eutelsat’s participation as one of the partners working to meet the government’s objective was announced today by its Minister President Matthias Platzeck at an information event on broadband organised by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in the state’s capital of Potsdam. In collaboration with service providers, Eutelsat will provide its Tooway(TM) satellite broadband service to all interested households and small companies at a monthly EUR39.95 cost for a 24-month subscription, equipment included. Many hundreds of communities in Brandenburg are located in rural areas with poor or no terrestrial broadband infrastructure.
The Tooway(TM) solution consists of a small satellite dish and a modem connected to the PC via the Ethernet, giving users immediate broadband access following straightforward installation. The service is totally independent of telephone lines and offers an ADSL-comparable service, including speeds to users of 3.6 Mbps and uplink speeds from user PCs of 384 kbps. Tooway(TM) will be provided in Brandenburg via skyDSL and dsl2u. The skyDSL distribution partner will focus on broadband access solutions for the mass market. In addition to broadband access, dsl2u will offer VoIP services and Direct-to-Home reception of television channels, all delivered through a single satellite dish.
Minister President Platzeck emphasised during his presentation: “Broadband access is today a significant part of infrastructure, like roads or electricity. Fast Internet is indispensable for consumers, a Number One expectation for the younger generation and a location factor for the economy. The broadband initiative of the Government that aims to reduce to the minimum all remaining white spots once again demonstrates that no region or community in Brandenburg will be left behind. I am delighted that with Eutelsat we have a partner who will contribute another piece of the puzzle to reach our target.”
“Together with the Government and our ToowayTM partners, we want to make a significant contribution to bridging the digital divide in Brandenburg by the end of 2009″, said Volker Steiner, Managing Director of Eutelsat’s German affiliate. “Internet via satellite is available at any time and in any place. It is the most economic and efficient broadband access solution for unserved or inaccessible regions in Germany. With this initiative Eutelsat is supporting the broadband strategy of Germany’s Federal and State Governments with a sustainable and lasting solution”.
Tooway(TM) is the first two-way satellite broadband service in Europe offering speeds and costs similar to ADSL. The service is based on Eutelsat’s satellite coverage, the commercial and infrastructure operating experience of Eutelsat’s subsidiary Skylogic, and SurfBeam technology developed by ViaSat. This technology comes to Europe after acquiring extensive experience on the North American market, where ViaSat already provides the equipment and network for over 450,000 homes with satellite broadband access fully independent from the terrestrial network. Today, Tooway(TM) already serves customers in 22 European countries including Germany, Greece, France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, with additional countries across Europe rolling-out over the coming months.
About Eutelsat Communications
Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is the holding company of Eutelsat S.A.. With capacity commercialised on 27 satellites that provide coverage over the entire European continent, as well as the Middle East, Africa, India and significant parts of Asia and the Americas, Eutelsat is one of the world’s three leading satellite operators in terms of revenues. At 31 December 2008, Eutelsat’s satellites were broadcasting 3,200 television channels and 1,100 radio stations. More than 1,100 channels broadcast via its HOT BIRD(TM) video neighbourhood at 13 degrees East which serves over 120 million cable and satellite homes in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The Group’s satellites also serve a wide range of fixed and mobile telecommunications services, TV contribution markets, corporate networks, and broadband markets for Internet Service Providers and for transport, maritime and in-flight markets. Eutelsat’s broadband subsidiary, Skylogic, markets and operates services through teleports in France and Italy that serve enterprises, local communities, government agencies and aid organisations in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Headquartered in Paris, Eutelsat and its subsidiaries employ 591 commercial, technical and operational experts from 28 countries.