Google-backed O3B secures satellite funds

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Google-backed O3B secures satellite funds

Backhaul for developing world.

O3B Networks, a UK company launched in 2008 which plans to deliver fibre-like internet to three billion users in the developing world, has secured US$1.2 billion (A$1.25 billion) in funding to launch its first satellite, the company said Tuesday.   

O3B plans to supply ISPs and telecoms operators backbone services via KA-band satellites by 2013.  

The company has secured around US$700 million in debt financing and US$410 in equity investment, bolstering backing it had already secured from Google, HSBC and Liberty Global at the outset. 

"We are looking to connect the unconnected, now we can start to do that," O3B chief executive Mark Rigolle told the Wall Street Journal.

Rigolle pointed to fibre-less regions in the Amazon and Indonesia as ideal markets

European satellite maker Thales Alenia Space is currently constructing eight KA-band satellites for O3B and is set to deliver the first by the end of 2010.

NBN Co chief Mike Quigley last year pointed to KA-band satellite to deliver the minimum 12 Mbps speeds to the small percentage of Australians not covered by its fibre or fixed wireless rollout. 

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