Hylas Bringing Satellite Internet To 350,000 Europeans

Satellite Internet has been provided in America for years via HughesNet. But elsewhere, it has been somewhat difficult to come by. Now, the first satellite dedicated to bringing satellite Internet to Europe has launched, as the Hylas-1 has flown off on an Ariane 5 rocket in order to offer service to up to 350,000 customers.

The Hylas is hoping to cover dead spots in Europe, which are seen as remote locations where broadband isn't yet available. The rocket has just launched this week, so it will still be a few weeks before it is correctly positioned and queued for service. The UK government alone has poured £40m in the Hylas development program, and they currently have a commitment to provide each British inhabitant with a high-speed connection by 2015. That equates to 2Mbps or greater, which this satellite can presumably provide.

In fact, Hylas claims that speeds as high as 10Mbps are possible, and Avanti's CEO has promised that this will just be one of many satellites launched to provide service. The second one is already under construction, and the company plans to put capacity over Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia. We never really expected satellite Internet to be the key link in providing people in remote areas with broadband, but we suppose it's better than nothing...even if the upload speeds aren't ever anything to write home about.