Saturday, 4 December 2010

As I said 8 years ago in my book Hyperinnovation:

'As the big broadband telesatelites go up, so the borders of product, service and nation-states alike, collapse. Integrated portable videophones with hip-hop stereo sub-bass conferencing one-to-one, one-to-all, all-to-all and all-to-one emerge on every street corner from Iceland to Ice-Tea'

Well, the first satellite dedicated to delivering broadband services to Europe has launched on an Ariane 5 rocket.

The Hylas spacecraft is designed to fill so-called "notspots" - remote locations such as rural villages where it is currently not possible to get a fast internet connection.

Controllers will now take a number of weeks to position the spacecraft properly in the sky some 36,000km above the equator, and to check out onboard systems.

Hylas (Highly Adaptable Satellite) is a commercial venture operated by start-up Avanti Communications of London, but the spacecraft itself incorporates technology developed with public funding through the European Space Agency (Esa).

The payload has flexibility to reallocate bandwidth and power in each of the eight spot beams that cover key market areas selected by Avanti. On Hylas, this can be done at any moment in time from the control centre. This agility is important because it will allow Avanti to keep up with market evolution.

It has a commitment that everyone in Britain should have access to a decent net connection by 2015. That means a minimum of two megabits per second (Mbps).

Some three million UK homes currently fall below this standard; and across Europe, there are many millions more who cannot currently get an adequate connection through terrestrial technology.

Hylas will be offering up to 10Mbps to its users. There'll be farmers, hotels, houses in the Lake District, in Scotland and parts of Cornwall that haven't been able to get broadband before; but now this satellite will deliver it. That brings them all online and that's something the coalition government is really committed to," he told BBC News.

Post a Comment