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Internet access is the key to the world’s digital economy by connecting people to information, capital, and markets. Yet according to the latest statistics, less than half of our planet’s 7 billion population has access to high-performance Internet service—leaving about 4 billion people on the wrong side of the so-called digital divide. Satellite broadband is helping to close this divide, reaching ex-urban and rural communities where terrestrial service is not cost-effective, whether based on fiber, cable, or DSL technologies.
As a recent case in point, one of Mexico’s leading Internet Service Providers (ISPs) Pegaso Banda Ancha, a subsidiary of Grupo Pegaso, has chosen the Hughes JUPITERTM System to extend high-speed Internet and Wi-Fi access to more than 5,000 locations in Mexico’s rural areas through a high-performance satellite broadband network. An estimated 26 million of the coun- try’s 120 million people, many of whom live in rural or difficult to reach mountainous areas, have limited or no Internet access.
The country’s Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (SCT) is attacking the obstacles of distance and terrain through a national satellite Internet program designed to provide broad- band access to more than 100,000 people in Mexico’s rural regions. Locations include rural schools, hospitals, universities, parks, and government development and disaster prevention agencies.
The SCT selected Pegaso Banda Ancha from among several Mexican ISPs vying for the job following a comprehensive evaluation process, which required proven technical experience to provide the maximum cost-benefit ratio while connecting all 5,000-plus remote sites in just 4 months. Pegaso Banda Ancha combined a strong commitment to social development with more than 15 years of experience providing satellite connectivity to large companies and government organizations.
Pegaso Banda Ancha operates thousands of remote satellite broadband stations in Mexico and also provides Internet access in the US, Central America, and the Caribbean. The SCT provided Pegaso Banda Ancha with 278 mhz of bandwidth on its Bicentenario satellite to deliver high-quality service across all locations.
JUPITER’s high-performance modular design and bandwidth-efficient solution offered Pegaso Banda Ancha an ideal networking solution for connecting such a large number of sites over a vast area in a short time window. Numerous other advan- tages of the JUPITER robust gateway architecture include lights-out operation, enhanced IPoS air interface, and high- throughput terminals of up to 100 Mbps capacity, which helped Pegaso Banda Ancha implement the project on time and on budget.
The JUPITER System has been fully implemented, and all 5,062 sites in 362 municipalities across 29 states are operational, managed through Pegaso Banda Ancha’s Toluca network operations center.
Students and teachers in the 362 communities now have broad- band Internet access through their schools and universities. Doctors and health officials use satellite broadband to connect to clinics and regional medical centers, while libraries and community centers are offering Internet service to the public for personal use.
“Internet access is a basic ingredient for economic and social development,” said Grupo Pegaso chief operating officer Javier Braun Burillo. “The Hughes JUPITER System will enable us to connect remote communities and schools with many of the same economic, governmental, and educational resources available in urban areas.”