Comsat link connects South America to Net

MARYLAND WATCH

March 20, 1998

Comsat Corp. said yesterday that it has begun service on a satellite link that will connect South America to the main Internet lines in the United States.

Bethesda-based Comsat is providing the satellite link through a contract with Telefonica Larga Distancia, a Puerto Rican telecommunications firm. The link will carry Internet traffic between Puerto Rico and South America.

The financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

The Comsat link will employ asynchronous transfer mode technology, also known as ATM, to transmit signals. ATM is a network technology used for high-speed transmission of Internet traffic.

Comsat touted its service as a relatively easy way to bring telecommunications service to new or underdeveloped markets. Rather than relying on wire networks, Comsat's system will bounce signals between a land station in Puerto Rico and a land station in South America via a satellite.

"This contract really signifies what can be done with satellites," said Comsat spokesman Jason Crawford. "This just makes it so much easier for South America to get onto the Internet."

Pub Date: 3/20/98

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