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Eutelsat service to boost Ireland's rural internet access

Ireland's National Broadband Scheme is to use a satellite broadband service to deliver high-speed broadband

Ireland's National Broadband Scheme is to use a satellite broadband service to deliver high-speed broadband connectivity to thousands of homes and businesses in rural areas.

Satellite Broadband Ireland will deliver the Tooway satellite broadband service from Eutelsat Communications under its recently won contract from mobile broadband provider 3.

The mobile broadband firm is running the National Broadband Scheme (NBS) on behalf of the Irish Government.

The 3.6Mbps satellite broadband service will be delivered to up to 5% of the 223,000 targeted buildings across rural Ireland.

The Tooway system consists of a small satellite dish and a modem connected to the PC to give users broadband internet access.

The agreement underlines the core role satellites are actively playing in building an inclusive digital environment across Europe, said Arduino Patacchini, multimedia director at Eutelsat.

Damien Gallagher, NBS project director at 3, said the agreement with Satellite Broadband Ireland is an important part of Ireland's National Broadband Scheme roll-out.

"Satellite broadband is the only viable option in a small percentage of buildings without which certain parts of rural Ireland would remain unconnected," he said.

Eutelsat plans to launch a new satellite dedicated to broadband deliver in Europe which will enable the company to expand the service with access speeds of up to 10Mbps in 2010.

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