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Eutelsat privatised

The previously intergovernmental body Eutelsat, has transferred to private ownership and aims to become a contender in the telecoms market.

Eutelsat have become a private company after an extraordinary general meeting in Paris, when the assets and activities of the intergovernmental organisation were transferred to Eutelsat S.A, a limited liability company.

The company has a registered share capital of Euro 1 000 000 000 (US$865 million) and the capital will be used to expand in the telecommunications market.
Eutelsat currently carries many of the region's channels on its range of Hotbird and W series satellites as well as supplying SNG facilities.

The company has not indicated how its new proposal will affect its support for 'traditional' broadcast. He company has, however, concentrated a portion of its energy into developing a broadcasting system onto PCs.

The Open-Sky system allows consumers to receive streaming broadcasts on their home computers. The system is currently being trailed in Italy with around twenty channels being supplied to subscribers. The system requires users to purchase a DVB-IP card and to connect their PC to both a telephone line and to a dish. Services to the ME are expected in two years.

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