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Satellites give 100% broadband

Satellite internet access is set to clear France’s broadband blackspots with the launch of four offers under €35 a month

AREAS without high-speed internet could soon get broadband up to 2Mb per second as the government has approved four companies to supply satellite packages.

The Broadband For Everyone scheme means people in internet blackspots can gain access for less than €35 a month, at less than €100 to install and including all necessary equipment.

The four companies are Vivéole, Connexion Verte, France Télécom subsidiary NordNet and SFR subsidiary SHD.

Between one and two million French households in rural areas do not have high-speed access.

Digital economy secretary Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet said approving the four companies was part of the aim of Digital France 2012 and opened up the way for “high-speed broadband for everyone, even in the blackspots”.

The government has also committed to introducing more cable access in areas of moderate population density in a bid to boost access speeds.

NordNet and Vivéole will supply their service using the satellite Astra, while SHD and Connexion Verte will use the rival Eutelsat.

However, a major drawback for satellite broadband is that there is a delayed response in the signal of about 600 milliseconds, plus limits on upload/download speeds, which means it cannot be used for voice-over-internet programs such as Skype.

Connexion Verte’s service is priced from €19.90 a month and has speeds up to 3.6Mb; downloads are limited to 4.7Gb a month.

Vivéole starts at €24.90 a month for its Surf Solo package which has a 2Gb download limit.

SHD starts at €29.90 a month with downloads limited to 3.2Gb at 3.6Mb per second

NordNet starts at €29.90 a month with a 3Gb limit at 3Mb.

Related stories:
Internet options for rural areas

Photo: © Andrzej Puchta -

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