Avanti poised to launch Euro broadband satellite

Satellite broadband company Avanti Communications has secured EURO36 million in funding for its Hylas broadband satellite deployment which will  deliver high-speed internet access to 70 million European homes in rural areas.

Launch partner Arianespace has given Avanti a committed launch window of between April 2010 and June 2010.

 Avanti claim that  Hylas will be the first super-fast broadband satellite to be launched in Europe. "I think there are about 70 million homes in Europe which can't get two megabits (broadband speed). There's a massive unmet demand and no competition," Avanti CEO David Williams told Dow Jones Newswires.

Avanti Communications said it is also planning to launch a second satellite to provide extra capacity in Europe in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Meanwhile in Australia, carrier Optus has confirmed that Arianespace will launch its D3 satellite, slated for launch in mid-August.  According to Paul Sheridan, director of Optus Satellite, the D3 will increase Optus’ fleet capacity by over 30%. “It will  provide new business opportunities in broadcast television, direct-to-home market, new data services and services bundling. ”