News Operators Satellite

Eutelsat, Newtec partner to extend broadband coverage in Caribbean

Newtec VSAT platform to extend internet connectivity to French West Indies, French Guiana

A project involving Eutelsat and regional ISP Caribsat to bridge the digital divide in the French West Indies and French Guiana will use Newtec’s Sat3Play VSAT Broadband Platform. Eutelsat has announced the completion of a distribution agreement for the IP Easy satellite broadband service with Caribsat, which will be provided through the EUTELSAT 8 West A satellite.

Caribsat’s service will commence before the end of the year in Guadaloupe and will deliver consumers and small businesses internet connectivity with initial download speeds ranging from 512Kbps to 6Mbps. The service will be extended to Martinique, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barth and French Guiana from January 2014.

“We selected Newtec as our technology partner for a number of reasons, not least the reliability and high efficiency of its products. Newtec’s Sat3Play product, with its point-and-play self-installation also enables end users to autonomously install the complete system with no specific qualification or expensive tooling needed,” says Jean-François Leprince-Ringuet, Eutelsat’s CCO.

Eutelsat first announced it would be using Newtec’s technology for its IP Easy services in 2012 when it successfully launched a broadband platform for Sub-Saharan Africa with a Newtec hub located at Eutelsat’s Mediterranean teleport. Later that year it extended the coverage to Indian Ocean islands by adding a second hub installed at the Rambouillet teleport in France. The Caribbean IP Easy Service is powered from a teleport in the United States.

“We are pleased to once again be Eutelsat’s partner of choice as it extends its IP Easy Service to the Caribbean. Our dedication to maximum bandwidth efficiency, low cost terminals and a true broadband experience for consumers and businesses is fully aligned with Eutelsat’s aim to deliver broadband services to a growing geographical reach and mainly to regions in need,” adds Serge Van Herck, CEO of Newtec.

According to figures highlighted by Eutelsat, 66% of the more than 1 million people living in the French West Indies and French Guiana have a PC but only 50% have access to reliable broadband connectivity. This is according to ARCEP data from July 2013.