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Hylas 1 satellite blasting off today, will rain down broadband from above

Vlad Savov
11.26.10
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Europe's about to catapult a new satellite up into orbit today, this one with the stated goal of providing broadband internet access to people in the areas hardest to reach by terrestrial connectivity means. UK startup Avanti Communications is the official name responsible for the Hylas 1, which is a funny mix of private and public investment: it's a commercial venture, yet the British state has contributed £40 million ($63m) to its development and European Space Agency tech will be used to get that 2.6-ton antenna up beyond the planet's atmosphere. Ultimately, though, the goal's a good one -- up to 10Mbps connections will be on offer, with plans for further satellites already on the books, which should serve to expand internet accessibility in parts of Africa and Asia as well. The next Hylas tin can will be leaving terra firma in 15 months, provided there no unknown unknowns pop up during that time to get in its way.

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