RealTime IT News

chello broadband Takes its First Step Out of Europe

A day after announcing a stellar subscription spike, chello broadband n.v. Thursday set up its first outpost beyond Europe, adding new services in Australia.

chello broadband Australia Pty Ltd. will offer multimedia and e-commerce services on high-speed broadband Net access. Australian broadband company and chello partner AUSTAR United Communications previously initiated commercial access trials, and chello intends to bring full access services to Australia and by the middle of the year. New Zealand services, introduced in conjunction with Saturn Communications Ltd., are expected to roll out in the same time frame.

The Dutch broadband player, an operating company of United Pan-Europe Communications (UPC), yesterday announced a 397 percent increase in its subscription rate from January of last year. The company said it has 121,000 paid accounts for 1999.

chello will also introduce a satellite platform in Australia, which the company says is an indication of its technological flexibility. Satellite services will also expand the targeted market to include Australia's significant rural population.

"The rollout of chello's broadband internet services will give Australians in regional and rural households access to a rich variety of local, national and international content and shopping. That means, for the first time, they will have the opportunity to enjoy the real power of the next generation of internet services well before most of the major cities," said John Porter, AUSTAR's chief executive officer.

"People in regional Australia are extremely internet aware but until now have not had the opportunity to benefit from the kind of broadband service offered by chello."

Both the Australian and New Zealand residential subscriber portals will contain local content. The New Zealand services will be delivered over cable.

chello operates in the Netherlands, France, Austria, Belgium, Norway, and Sweden. While it holds an office in London, chello has yet to announce services for the U.K.

The European services are available at a fixed monthly fee and are delivered through AORTA, chello's pan-European IP backbone. The company also made a deal with GTS in November which is expected to substantially increase its capacity.