More than 1 million homes in Spain won’t have Internet access at 100 Mbps by the end of 2021 unless it is possible to guarantee the use of all available technologies.
Hispasat, the Spanish satellite telecommunications operator of the Red Eléctrica Group, and the French operator Eutelsat have formed a partnership to promote initiatives to bridge the digital divide in Spain and Portugal that Hispasat has already put in place. As part of this agreement, the Spanish operator will complement its current capacities with those of Eutelsat’s Konnect satellite over the two countries. This way, Hispasat will operate in collaboration with Eutelsat and market high-quality broadband connectivity services at 100 Mbps to telecommunications operators and Internet Service Providers. Hispasat guarantees immediate connectivity at 100 Mbps from any geographic location in both countries.
This agreement forms part of the lines of action that Hispasat proposed in its Strategic Plan for 2020- 25 aimed at transforming the infrastructure operator company into a satellite services and solutions company. The company will move forward by strengthening its current business, with actions such as this partnership with Eutelsat, and promoting its growth to adapt to the latest market trends, diversifying its portfolio through new technologies, services and strategic partnerships.
Miguel Ángel Panduro, CEO of Hispasat, said, “Digitalization cannot be addressed without having guaranteed connectivity everywhere first. Satellite technology has evolved and permits Internet access at 100 Mbps immediately from any location, no matter how inaccessible it is. At HISPASAT we are fully committed to the goal of providing all citizens internet access and contributing to digitalizing economic activity regardless of geographic location. That’s why we have entered into this partnership with Eutelsat to complement our current capacity”.
Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat, stated, “We are delighted by this strategic deal with our longstanding partner, Hispasat. Coming after wholesale agreements covering France and Italy, and a distribution deal for Germany, this latest commitment by a satellite operator to cover the territories of Spain and Portugal confirms the relevance of powerful, cost-efficient next generation geostationary satellites as an immediate solution to the ubiquitous deployment of reliable, high-speed broadband.”
Based on the estimates of the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure, at the end of 2021 more than 1 million Spanish homes won’t have 100 Mbps Internet access. A large part of this population still lacking high-quality internet access lives in rural areas, where the roll out of terrestrial infrastructure (fiber optic and 5G) is insufficient. In Portugal, 30 percent of rural homes lack highspeed internet access
It’s not just homes that suffer from this digital divide, but also SMEs. This fact is a key factor in the population drain from rural areas. Only high-quality connectivity will be able to provide social stability based on digitalization, allowing the population and economic activities to be dispersed throughout the region while also ensuring the equality of rights and opportunities for all citizens.
Universal coverage and a rapid roll out make satellites an ideal technological solution to democratize internet access and bring it where other alternatives do not reach. For this reason, Hispasat supports technological neutrality and complementary technological solutions that can provide an immediate response to the goal of connectivity for 100 percent of the population set forth in the Spanish government’s Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan for 2025.