Arianespace launches 2 satellites for rural areas in US

A rocket lifted off from South America carrying satellites to provide broadband Internet services to rural parts of the US and television programming to people across the hemisphere, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said WildBlue Communications' WildBlue-1 and SES Americom's Americom-18 were shuttled into space by an Ariane 5 rocket, according to Jean-Yves Le Gall, CEO of Arianespace, the commercial arm of the 13-country European Space Agency.

WildBlue-1 will provide high-speed broadband to homes and businesses in parts of the US that have no such access or limited access, the report said.

WildBlue has been borrowing space on Canadian satellite Anik F2 to deliver the service to its clients, the report added.

The Americom-18, or AMC-18, satellite is aimed at offering full North American coverage for TV programming, including in the Caribbean and Mexico, the report said.

The AMC-18, which will be operated by New Jersey-based SES Americom, will join two of the company's other satellites, expanding its bandwidth resources.

It was the fifth and final Ariane 5 rocket takeoff from the Kourou launch pad in French Guiana, a French department on the northeastern coast of South America. It was Arianespace's 174th launch since the European space consortium was created in 1980, Associated Press report further said.