October 21, 2008
Eutelsat Affirms Its Commitment to “Digital France 2012″, the New Initiative Launched By the French Government
PARIS, October 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL), Europe's leading satellite operator, affirms its commitment to playing a full role in "Digital France 2012", the French Government's initiative designed to promote the digital economy all over French territory.
The first part of the "Digital France 2012" programme underscores the French Government's objective of ensuring that all French homes have access to broadband. The Government has pledged itself to equitable treatment for all its citizens, to ensuring that there is a balanced approach to the development of French territory, to making sure that businesses are competitive, and to providing the opportunity for French culture to flourish. Satellites constitute a powerful tool with which to take up the challenge of universal broadband coverage through the complementary facility they can provide to ADSL and fibre networks at a low marginal deployment cost. This follows on from their longstanding role as a complement to terrestrial networks for television broadcasting.
Eutelsat's consumer satellite broadband service offer is based on Tooway(TM), a new service available in France since late 2007. Designed as a consumer product, this innovative service uses the ViaSat bidirectional SurfBeam(R) DOCSIS technology already adopted by more than 400 000 satellite homes in North America.
Tooway(TM) operates via a modem and a 67 cm antenna installed at the user's premises to deliver broadband at prices and speeds comparable to ADSL throughout mainland France.
In Europe, Swisscom, the leading Swiss telecommunications operator, has already opted for Eutelsat's Tooway(TM) service to fulfil its commitment to universal service provision, making broadband access available all over Switzerland.
Tooway(TM) today uses Ka-band capacity on-board Eutelsat's HOT BIRD(TM) 6 satellite. In order to ensure widescale deployment of the service across Europe and the Mediterranean Basin, Eutelsat this year initiated the investment in a significant new satellite infrastructure programme which will take satellite broadband performance to the level of ADSL 2. This new infrastructure associates the KA-SAT satellite, built by EADS Astrium, with earth stations connected to the Internet backbone. Scheduled to be available in 2010, the operational capacity of more than 70 Gbps of KA-SAT will make it the highest capacity satellite in the world when it is deployed. It will be followed into orbit in 2011 by the ViaSat 1 satellite of ViaSat which will offer the same type of service in North America.
Giuliano Berretta, Eutelsat's Chairman & CEO, said "The initiative taken by the French Government reinforces our own ambitions in the broadband market. For Eutelsat, the roll-out of the Tooway(TM) service is a major step, indicative of our objective for satellite broadband to be an economically viable mass-market solution for resolving the digital divide. By delivering television to homes located beyond reach of terrestrial reception, and connecting businesses and local communities to the Internet in areas not served by ADSL, satellite already fulfils a vital role in opening up underserved "grey" areas. This progress is continuing with the introduction of the consumer Tooway(TM) service and will advance still further all over Europe with the arrival of the KA-SAT satellite from 2010 onwards."
About Eutelsat Communications
Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is the holding company of Eutelsat S.A.. With capacity commercialised on 24 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 30 June 2008, Eutelsat's satellites were broadcasting more than 3,120 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 its teleport in Italy that serves enterprises, local communities, government agencies and aid organisations in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Headquartered in Paris, Eutelsat and its subsidiaries employ 538 commercial, technical and operational experts from 27 countries.
http://www.eutelsat.com/ http://www.tooway.com/ For further information Press Vanessa O'Connor Tel: +33-1-5398-38-88 [email protected] Frederique Gautier Tel: +33-1-53-98-38-88 [email protected] Investors Gilles Janvier Tel: +33-1-53-98-35-30 [email protected]
CONTACT: For further information: Press: Vanessa O'Connor, Tel:+33-1-5398-38-88, [email protected], Frederique Gautier, Tel:+33-1-53-98-38-88,[email protected]; Investors, Gilles Janvier, Tel:+33-1-53-98-35-30, [email protected]