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Hispasat, Eurona to Expand Broadband Access in Spain

By | February 9, 2018

      Hispasat CEO Carlos Espinos shakes hands with Eurona CEO Fernando Ojeda after the agreement signing on Feb. 8. Photo: Hispasat.

      Hispasat and Eurona, a provider of internet, voice, data and satellite television services, will join forces to help bridge the digital divide in Spain through the use of broadband connectivity via satellite. In a press conference in Madrid, the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of both companies, Carlos Espinos and Fernando Ojeda, announced an agreement to market the Ka-band capacity of the Hispasat 36W 1 and Hispasat 30W 6 satellites, which will be launched into space this month from Cape Canaveral on board a SpaceX Falcon 9. Both satellites have Ka-band beams over Spain, Europe and North Africa.

      According to Hispasat, although the deployment of optical fiber and broadband coverage is very widespread in Spain, there are still towns, mainly in rural or sparsely populated areas or areas of complex mountain terrain, which lack or have very slow internet access. The agreement signed by the two companies aims to offer people who live in these areas a technological solution via satellite that can compare in quality and price to other terrestrial technologies.

      Thanks to the use of Ka-band, which has greater capacity, and the possibility of reusing frequencies, the H36W 1 and H30W 6 satellites have stronger coverage over smaller areas, which improves the efficiency of satellite transmissions and makes it possible to reach speeds of up to 30 Mbps under conditions similar to those of other technologies, Hispasat stated. “All of this entails a direct increase in information that can be transmitted, faster speeds and obtaining more competitive rates for the end customers,” added Espinos.

      This agreement will come into effect when Eurona introduces its offering of broadband services via satellite at 30 Mbps throughout all of Spain, which can include landline and mobile phone services. Furthermore, this includes the services recently provided by Eurona with Hughes and the Federation of Installers (Fenitel) to speed up the deployment of satellite broadband services in areas with a digital divide.

      The agreement reached by Hispasat and Eurona coincides with an announcement made recently by the Spanish Secretariat of State for the Information Society and the Digital Agenda regarding the implementation of the Aid Program for the procurement of fixed broadband at 30 Mbps. Under the program, people or organizations in towns with less than 5,000 inhabitants which do not have fixed broadband services with a download speed of more than 10 Mbps may receive up to 400 euros ($490) to cover the expenses arising from the activation of the fixed broadband service at a minimum speed of 30 Mbps, such as the purchase of the equipment, its installation and its operation. Eurona was the first operator to qualify for this broadband subsidy scheme.