Satellite-delivered broadband using digital TV technology could bring services to users out or reach of ADSL, according to Dutch vendor Aramiska.
The new service uses Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) with Return Channel via Satellite to transmit and receive data. It is a variant of the DVB technology used to broadcast digital channels to people's homes.
Aramiska, which has already signed up 20 UK customers including skin care company Elysia and Hewlett Packard reseller Cladswell House, said that the advantages of the technology include the natural multicasting characteristics of the satellite, wireless access and permanent connectivity.
The broadband offering is pitched at small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Entry-level packages start at £199 per month, and support up to 30 PCs with access speeds ranging from 256Kbps to 2Mbps.
The company said that it would be able to provide services in rural areas even if only one company or individual in an area signs up for the service.
This is unlike other schemes that only provide services if there is sufficient demand from the community.
Philippe Bodart, chief executive at Aramiska, told vnunet.com that open standards allowed the company to pin down costs.
"We are not involved in technical development, and that's why we went into open standards," he said. "In doing it that way you know what the costs are."
Bodart added that the cost structure was set before the business was started, and that renting transponder space on a satellite was substantially less than it had anticipated.
Experts believe that the continuing confusion in ADSL offerings should help satellite and cable broadband providers expand into the SME market.
"The UK's SMEs have not adopted ADSL broadband," explained Forrester analyst David Metcalfe. "ADSL dissarray expands the SME opportunity for cable and satellite."
Aramiska also plans to roll out TV broadcasts over IP with six business news channels for its customers at around £9 per month extra.
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