In America, there's HughesNet. It's usually a last-resort for people
seeking high-speed internet, mostly for two reasons. For one, it's crazy
expensive. Two, it's really slow, at least on the uplink. But
satellite-based internet is still useful in rural places where no other
broadband is available, and evidently those same demands are also
present in Europe. Eutelsat has just launched satellite internet
Europe, and it's being called the most powerful satellite in the entire
world. It just went into service this week, giving broadband speeds to
over a million homes in Europe that are currently doing without.
The KA-SAT was launched at the end of 2010, and just now went into
service. It's set to provide consumers up to 10Mb/sec download and
4Mb/sec upload rates, and it will also provide an enterprise service of
up to 50Mb/sec. Based on reports, there are 13 million homes across
Europe that are "too remote" to get normal high-speed internet, and
there's another 17 million that cannot get services greater than
2Mb/sec. The E.U. is currently trying to give broadband access to every
citizen by 2013, and launching a satellite like this definitely moves
them in the right direction.
It cost around 350 million Euros to get it online, and there's no plans
now to launch a second. We're still waiting to hear how much this
service will cost on a per-home basis, but for those who have had no
internet at all, anything reasonable will likely be seen as acceptable.
One step closer to global 'net access -- we'll take it!