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Avanti Switches Satellite Broadband Launcher

Avanti Communications has switched the launch rocket for its satellite broadband supplying Hylas spacecraft.

The Hylas spacecraft is expected to provide 2Mbps satellite broadband speeds to some rural locations and could help with the Government’s Digital Britain plan for 2Mbps broadband speeds for all UK homes by 2012.

As part of the switch, Avanti has signed a contract with Arianespace which will allow them to use either the Arian 5 or the Soyuz launcher. It was originally supposed to launch on the Falcon 9, a US rocket.

David Williams, the Chief Executive of Avanti said, “We’re a classic example of a scrappy British start-up company. A couple of years ago we had very little money. It’s turned out that our market was very much bigger than many of us thought and I now have a blue-chip shareholder base that is prepared to pay for the certainty and reliability of the world’s best launch vehicle”.

The Hylas-1 satellite has had significant investment from British government and is due to be launched next year.

It is thought that around 350,000 households will benefit from the Hylas-1 satellite broadband service with Hylas-2 also in the pipeline.

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