Satellite Broadband Ireland (SBI) has signed a commercial agreement with Eutelsat Communications to sell broadband services through KA-SAT, the most powerful commercial satellite.
The initial three-year broadband utility contract is worth more than €5m and will let SBI sell Eutelsat’s next-generation Tooway satellite broadband service, with download speeds of up to 10MBps and upload speeds of up to 4MBps.
This service will be provided via Eutelsat’s KA-SAT satellite, which was launched last month and will enter into full commercial service in May 2011.
KA-SAT’s approach is based on next-generation two-way wireless Ka-band spotbeam technology, which reduces the cost of high-bandwidth access to the internet.
SBI will introduce this service to Ireland and will expand it across Europe.
KA-SAT is an integral part of a new European communications infrastructure which includes eight satellite gateways across Europe, including one in Cork, connected to the internet by a fibre backbone ring.
It’s Europe’s first high-throughput satellite (HTS), with a total capacity of more than 70GBps.
“To build an inclusive digital environment in Ireland, it is vital that broadband is accessible to as many of the 367,000 rural homes as possible,” said Kevin Ryan, SBI chief executive.
“As a result of this partnership with Eutelsat, our customers will be guaranteed access to the fastest and most reliable satellite broadband service at the lowest possible price, with all packages competitively priced.
“We are the only satellite data provider in Ireland giving an Irish IP address as standard, which is vital for accessing websites such as RTE iPlayer,” said Ryan.
Ryan added that the contract, along with an additional €1m investment in their own services, will let them expand into other territories in Europe, such as the UK.
“KA-SAT’s capability to bring transformational satellite broadband services and SBI’s investment and expertise in delivering a first-class customer experience, represent a compelling partnership which will bring new impetus to bridging the digital divide for rural homes and businesses across Ireland,” said Arduino Patacchini, CEO of Skylogic, Eutelsat’s broadband affiliate.