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Science

European Internet satellite launched from Kazakhstan

A new satellite will provided high-speed Internet access to millions of Europeans. The British-made satellite will have a throughput of 70 gigabits per second.

Russian Proton M rocket

The Russian Proton M rocket launched Monday

On Monday, a British-made satellite was launched in Kazakhstan, becoming the second European spacecraft devoted to beaming down high-speed Internet connectivity.

The Ka-Sat is designed to provide tens of millions of Europeans, especially those living in rural areas, with faster access to the Internet.

Ka-Sat has a total throughput of some 70 gigabits per second, however typically satellite Internet access costs much more than DSL or cable modem service.

The new satellite will cover a large swath of Europe, ranging from North Africa to southern Scandinavia, and touching into the edges of the Middle East.

"Ka-Sat will be the cornerstone of a breakthrough infrastructure deployed by Eutelsat for users across Europe and the Mediterranean Basin," said Michel de Rosen, the chief executive of Eutelsat, in a statement. Eutelsat is the company that will operate the satellite.

"By combining a satellite equipped with more than 80 spotbeams and a network of ground stations, this new program will deliver more capacity than any other satellite program deployed worldwide."

The company also said that commercial Internet service will begin in May 2011.

Author: Cyrus Farivar (AFP, dpa)
Editor: Saroja Coelho

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