American Hughes Brings Satellite Broadband to 800 Schools in Brazil

U.S.-based Hughes Network Systems announced that it has started the rollout of it HughesNet broadband Internet access service to 800 schools in the state of Paraná, located in the southern part of Brazil.

The contract was awarded to Hughes in July by Copel Telecom, a wholly owned subsidiary of COPEL, the power utility company that serves the state.

Hughes will provide broadband to schools that are outside the coverage area of Copel Telecom’s terrestrial network, which reaches an additional 1,300 schools.

According to Copel Telecom, by the end of 2006 all the 2,100 state-managed schools will be online, meeting the goals of Paraná-Digital, one of the leading digital inclusion programs ever carried out in Brazilian public schools.

"We are proud to take part in this significant program," said Délio Morais, president of Hughes Network Systems Americas. "It is an excellent example of how the HughesNet satellite service can augment terrestrial networks, in this case to bring broadband Internet access to schools everywhere – positioning Hughes as one of the most important telecom service providers in Brazil."

Mauro Eduardo Clepf, Management and Planning Manager with Copel Telecom, believes that using satellite to connect schools in smaller towns is the ideal solution when several factors such as need, economy and convenience converge.

"The significant cost reduction realized in using satellite services is increasing the competitiveness of this kind of solution. An additional advantage is the fast installation process," said Clepf. "COPEL is now assessing the possibility of using satellite technology to connect some of its customer service agencies around the state."

Paraná Digital is the state government program whose goal is to connect all the state-managed schools to the Internet by the end of the year. The program leverages the optical fiber network owned and managed by Copel Telecom. This network covers most of Paraná, providing services to 146 of the biggest cities in the state.

In addition to providing the students with broadband Internet connections, the Paraná Digital program will enable the integration of administrative areas of all state-managed public schools and provide access to a Web portal to be used by the teachers on an ongoing basis.

Copel Telecom is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Companhia Paranaense de Energia (COPEL), a power utility company that generates, transmits, and distributes energy within the State of Paraná in southern Brazil.

The company distributes electricity to more than 3 million customers and is listed on the NYSE, LATIBEX, and BOVESPA.  Copel Telecom supplies COPEL’s telecommunications needs and also provides telecom services to other companies, such as telecom operators and corporate customers.

Hughes Network Systems Americas (HNSA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hughes Network Systems, LLC and is Brazil’s and the region’s leading provider of high-speed broadband satellite services and solutions.

Headquartered in Alphaville (São Paulo), Brazil, HNSA operates a Network Operations Center (NOC) in Cotia and an office in Rio de Janeiro.

The company serves enterprises of all sizes and in many sectors, including banking, oil and gas, retail, automotive, education, utilities and governments.

Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES) is the global leader in providing broadband satellite networks and services for large enterprises, governments, small businesses, and consumers.

To date, Hughes has shipped more than one million systems to customers in over 100 countries. Its broadband satellite products are based on the IPoS (IP over Satellite) global standard, approved by the TIA, ETSI, and ITU standards organizations.

Headquartered outside Washington, D.C., in Germantown, Maryland, USA, Hughes maintains sales and support offices worldwide. Hughes is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hughes Communications, Inc.

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