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Wales gets high-speed internet from space


Households and businesses in even the remotest areas of Wales can receive broadband with download speeds of up to 4Mb/s now, thanks to a funding scheme announced by the Welsh Assembly and innovative satellite technology from SES-ASTRA.

Many outlying areas in Wales have been defined as internet not-spots, because limited or no ADSL/cable broadband is currently available. The Welsh Assembly has announced 2million in funding under the Broadband Support Scheme to combat this, with further grants from the EU expected through the Rural Development Plan for Wales.

Although conventional broadband roll-out is continuing throughout the country, experts agree that it will take many years before many areas have access to high-speed ADSL, and some may never have a DSL connection. However, with SES-ASTRAs ASTRA2 Connect technology, broadband speeds from 256kb/s to 4Mb/s are available to everyone now.

Says ASTRA GB managing director, Mike Chandler, We welcome this forward-thinking move by the Welsh Assembly, which will enable many more households and businesses to experience the online access that most of us take for granted. Our ASTRA2 Connect service has been developed for exactly this purpose to bring high-speed internet to those people who are unable to access it in any other way.

ASTRA2 Connect dishes can also be used to receive satellite television from broadcasters such as Sky or Freesat, as well as high-speed internet. The technology has already helped tens of thousands of people across Europe who would otherwise be without online access to join the digital revolution.

Says Mike Locke, managing director of ASTRA2 Connect supplier, , We have connected homes and businesses all over Wales, so we know the service covers the whole country, no matter how remote the location. We have a network of local dealers and installers ready to help anyone who want to take advantage of this innovative Welsh Assembly scheme.

Several subscription packages are available, starting at 18.99 per month. Because ASTRA2 Connect is a two-way technology, users dont even need a phone line. Subscribers can even add an internet phone connection to the package for a small additional monthly fee.

The Broadband Support Scheme offers grants of up to 1000 to households, SMEs and communities in not-spot areas with current internet speeds of less than 512kb/s. The grant covers equipment and installation costs, and full eligibility criteria can be found at the website.

More info on the Welsh Broadband Support Scheme

SES ASTRA is the leading Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite system in Europe. The satellite fleet currently comprises 16 satellites. The ASTRA satellite system delivers services to more than 125 million DTH and cable households and transmits more than 2,600 analogue and digital television and radio channels. SES ASTRA also provides satellite-based multimedia, internet and telecommunication services to enterprises, governments and their agencies. With more than 130 High Definition (HD) channels on its main orbital positions, ASTRA represents the most important HDTV platform for Europe’s leading broadcasters. The prime orbital positions for ASTRA are 19.2 East, 28.2 East, 23.5 East, 5 East and 31.5 East.

About BeyonDSL

BeyonDSL is a specialist satellite ISP serving people beyond ADSLs reach all over the UK and Eire. It was launched in 2001 by a team of people involved in the first IP over DVB-S trials in Europe and the development of digital TV and interactive services over satellite. Based in London with installers across the country, BeyonDSL has extensive experience in low-cost satellite broadband for consumers and SMEs and is proud to be ASTRAs partner in the UK for ASTRA 2Connect . BeyonDSL is a subsidiary of Eurosat Distribution Ltd.

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