Satellite Solutions Eyes Two Million French Homes Lacking Broadband

LONDON (Alliance News) - Satellite Solutions Worldwide Group PLC shares rose on Thursday after ...

Alliance News 3 August, 2017 | 10:16AM
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LONDON (Alliance News) - Satellite Solutions Worldwide Group PLC shares rose on Thursday after noting comments from the French government that the country's plans to roll-out universal high-speed broadband have been brought forward by two years and that its ambitions cannot be achieved through fibre alone.

Satellite Solutions looks likely to try to capitalise on the acceleration of the high-speed broadband roll-out in France, as the company offers satellite-supplied broadband and communications to those in rural areas or as an emergency back-up when standard providers fail to deliver a service through the usual cable service.

French President Emmanuel Macron recently announced his relatively new government wants to accelerate the roll out of universal high-speed broadband coverage in France, with the existing target of 2022, brought forward to the end of 2020.

Satellite Solutions cited Macron as stating: "It is impossible to keep the promise of fibre in to all households in France. This promise is untenable technologically and financially."

Nearly 30 million French homes have fibre broadband, the remaining 2 million households which cannot be connected economically to the fibre network will have broadband delivered through a combination of satellite, optical fibre and mobile internet.

Citing the French president again, Satellite Solutions said the French government plans to "allocate a share of the large investment plan to this priority, where necessary, wherever deficiencies are found, to replace the defaulting operators".

Chief Executive Andrew Walwyn said the statement was significant and signals a change from other European governments that have broadband subsidy schemes often constructed around fibre.

"President Macron has directly acknowledged that fibre alone cannot viably resolve the problem of universal broadband provision; satellite is a key solution for the large areas of France that do not have adequate broadband coverage," said Walwyn.

"We are already one of the largest independent satellite broadband providers in France with 12,000 customers. We believe the French government's announcement highlights the importance of satellite and other alternative technologies to fibre which should underpin our French business in the coming years," he added.

Satellite Solutions shares were up 1.1% on Thursday at 7.25 pence.

By Joshua Warner; joshuawarner@alliancenews.com; @JoshAlliance

Copyright 2017 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article
Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar Rating
Satellite Solutions Worldwide Group PLC 7.52 GBX 0.27 -
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