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European broadband satellite blasts off

Europe's second satellite capable of delivering broadband internet took off piggy-backed on a Proton rocket launched from Kazakhstan.

Eutelsat’s 6.1 tonne Ka-Sat satellite took off on Boxing Day 21.51 GMTand released into geosynchronous transfer orbit nine hours and 12 minutes later.

Its the second European launch of a braodband satellite in a month, The Hylas-1 will serve up to 300,000 homes when fully susbribed. The new Ka-Sat is much bigger and will deliver staellte broadband to some two million homes in European not-spots.

According to Eutelsat CEO Michel de Rosen, "By combining a satellite equipped with more than 80 spotbeams and a network of ground stations, this new programme will deliver more capacity than any other satellite programme deployed worldwide. These new resources will in particular benefit Internet Service Providers, enabling them to extend broadband to consumers and enterprises in areas unserved by terrestrial networks."

is one of the world's big three Fixed Satellite Services (FSS) companies, and transmits thousands of TV channels across its fleet of spacecraft.

Ka-Sat is French outfit Eutelsat's is first broadband-only venture having previously shared space with satellite TV. The satellite will sit 36,000km above the equator at nine degrees east.
Expect Ka-Sat to be operational in the second half of the second quarter of 2011."