CaribSat selects Eutelsat’s IP Easy service to launch satellite broadband in French West Indies and French Guiana
First operator in the French West Indies and French Guiana to offer satellite broadband. CaribSat signs agreements with local communities to bridge the digital divide
Paris, 20 November 2013 – Eutelsat Communications (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL) and CaribSat, an Internet Service Provider, today announced the signature of a distribution agreement for the IP Easy satellite broadband service provided through the Caribbean footprint of the EUTELSAT 8 West A satellite.
Starting in Guadeloupe, CaribSat is offering consumers and small businesses Internet connectivity with download speeds ranging from 512 Kbps to 6 Mbps from €29.90 a month. The service will be extended to Martinique, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barth and French Guiana from 1 January 2014.
CaribSat’s selection of a satellite-based service meets its key requirement to offer an immediate broadband connectivity solution to users irrespective of their location. Whereas 66% of the more than one million people living in the French West Indies and French Guiana have a PC, only 50% have broadband compared to 72% broadband penetration in metropolitan France.
“The agreement announced today with Eutelsat equips us to accelerate access to the benefits of digital for the individuals and small businesses in the French West Indies and French Guiana who are still struggling with dial-up,” said Maryse Coppet of CaribSat. “The broadband landscape in these regions is poised to quickly evolve and we look forward to serving the many users impatient to join the digital economy.”
Jean-François Leprince-Ringuet, Eutelsat’s Chief Commercial Officer, added: “This service agreement with CaribSat immediately lifts the obstacles faced by users beyond range of terrestrial broadband to access a quality Internet connection. We are delighted to share our expertise with CaribSat and to contribute to bridging the digital divide in the French West Indies and French Guiana.”
The user equipment for the IP Easy service comprises a one metre antenna and modem. Equipment costs are in many cases subsidised by local communities in regions benefiting from funds allocated for Internet connectivity. CaribSat is building partnerships with local communities to accelerate the availability of financial support for eligible users and today, on the Eutelsat stand at France’s annual mayors’ and communities’ convention in Paris, signed agreements with six local communities.
About CaribSat: www.caribsat.fr
About Eutelsat Communications
With capacity commercialised on 31 satellites delivering reach of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, significant parts of the Americas and the Asia-Pacific, Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is one of the world’s leading satellite operators. As of 30 September 2013, Eutelsat’s satellites were broadcasting more than 4,700 television channels to over 200 million cable and satellite homes in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The Group’s satellites also provide a wide range of services for TV contribution, corporate networks and fixed and mobile broadband markets. Headquartered in Paris, Eutelsat and its subsidiaries employ over 780 commercial, technical and operational professionals from 30 countries. www.eutelsat.com
 ARCEP data from July 2013