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WildBlue-1 bird slated for December launch

Mon, 11/13/2006 - 6:46am
Jeff Baumgartner, CED

WildBlue-1, a satellite that promises to triple the U.S. capacity of the WildBlue Communications Internet service, has arrived at the Arianespace spaceport in French Guiana, and is being prepped for an early December launch.

WildBlue-1, developed by Space Systems/Loral, is a Ka-band, spot beam satellite that will provide WildBlue with coverage over the contiguous United States. WildBlue presently uses Ka-band spot beam capacity via Telesat Canada's Anik F2 satellite, which was launched in July 2004.

"WildBlue-1 will help the company keep pace with our rapidly increasing customer demand," said WildBlue Communications CEO David Leonard, in a statement.

WildBlue, which signed up its first customer in June 2005, announced a five-year wholesale distribution deal in June with EchoStar Communications and DirecTV.

Elsewhere, WildBlue Enterprise Solutions, the broadband satellite company's business and government services arm, said it added the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) to its list of value added resellers (VARS).

NRTC, already a big WildBlue investor, represents more than 1,300 rural utilities and affiliates in 47 states.

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