Telstra to launch satellite Internet service

The deal, announced at the Telecom Asia 2000 conference and exhibition, covers the use by Telstra of four Ku-band transponders on Asiasat 3S. The transponders will be focused on Australia to provide a high-power signal across the nation that can be used with dishes under one metre in size, said Sabrina Cubbins, a spokeswoman for Asiasat.

The new broadband service, which will be marketed primarily in rural areas, will be provided by the joint venture announced earlier this year by Telstra and Pacific Century CyberWorks, the Hong Kong telecommunications carrier headed by Richard Li. "I think it's a very good deal for us," said Denis Lau, Asiasat's general manager, finance and administration. Lau said the deal represented the largest Ku-band deal for the company yet and has the potential to grow larger in the future.

The deal covers not only the capacity announced Tuesday but also provides a framework under which Telstra can get additional capacity on any Asiasat satellite, present and future.

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